Tag Archives: ARRC

ARRC seaon opener postponed

2021 ARRC


The FIM Asia Road Racing Championship has confirmed that the Round 1 opener, scheduled to be held at Sepang International Circuit from June 4 to 6, will be postponed to a later date due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in Asia over the past month.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Underbone Race
The ARRC season opener will be delayed over concerns about the rise of Covid-19 cases in Asia

This was in accordance with requests from the majority of the participating teams and riders. Even though the season-opener had been given the green-light to proceed from the Malaysian government, the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship stands together with the teams and riders in that the health and well-being of our respective communities is of utmost importance.

A new calendar for 2021 will be released as soon as possible.

Ron Hogg – Two Wheels Motor Racing Director

“I would like to start off by expressing our gratitude to the Malaysian government, especially the officials in the Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS), the National Security Council and the Malaysian Ministry of Health. Working hand-in-hand with these officials, the season opener had actually been given the green light to proceed.”

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang Parkes
Broc Parkes – 2020 ARRC

“However, in view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the region, we as the promoters, concur with the views of our participating teams and riders, in that it would be more prudent to postpone instead of pushing through with the first round. The health and well-being of our teams and participants will always be our top priority. At the same time, international travel within the Asian region is also becoming increasingly difficult. The tightening of national borders in response to the rise in cases have restricted air travel to and from certain countries, making it hard for the teams to plan their travel schedule.

“We would like to apologize to the fans of Asian motorsports who have been waiting eagerly for the action to start. On behalf of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, I would like to assure everyone that Season 2021 is merely postponed, and will certainly take off by the latter half of the year. Meanwhile, we hope that everyone will continue to stay safe. Let’s do our part to keep the Covid-19 pandemic under control so that sports can get back into action as soon as possible.”

Stephan Carapiet – FIM Asia President

“The FIM Asia supports the decision of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship to defer the start of the 2021 season. While it is certainly disappointing, it is always preferable to err on the side of caution. Please look forward to the release of a new 2021 calendar soon.”

ARRC Rnd Japan P ARRC Suzuka Underbone
The Underbone 150 championship in 2020

Source: MCNews.com.au

Broc Parkes sixth after challenging Sepang ARRC opener


Asia Superbike: Reiterberger makes his mark

We didn’t have to wait long to find out how a decent World Superbike rider would fare ARRC’s competitive cauldron. Markus Reiterberger – who alongside Tom Sykes, rode a BMW S 1000 RR for Shaun Muir Racing in 2019 – followed up a lap record breaking performance in pre-season testing at Sepang with a dominant performance in Friday’s free practice for round one.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Markus Reiterberger Free Practice ARRC Sepang

ARRC Rnd Sepang Markus Reiterberger Free Practice ARRC Sepang

Markus Reiterberger

The German, who turns 26 this week, looked at ease aboard the ONEXOX TKKR BMW, topping all three sessions by more than six tenths. His best time was 2’04.950, set midway through FP1.

The chase was led at different times by Kawasaki Thailand’s Thitipong Warakorn, Yamaha Racing ASEAN’s Broc Parkes and Yamaha Thailand’s Apiwat Wongthananon, who ended up second on the day, with a best time of 2’05.764 in FP3, more than eight tenths adrift of Markus. Broc put in a good day’s work to finish third on combined times, with a lap of 2’05.928.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Apiwat Wongthananon Pit Sepang

ARRC Rnd Sepang Apiwat Wongthananon Pit Sepang

Apiwat Wongthananon

The only other rider to get into the 2’05s and therefore within a second of Markus, was Lorenzo Zanetti, on the Access Plus Racing Okada Ducati Panigale. Standing in for Frederico Sandi, Zanetti, who is an official Ducati test rider, finished just ahead of Thitipong, Yuki Ito and defending champion Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, who lagged his new team-mate by 1.810s to end up seventh.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Azlan Shah Gravel Sepang Free Practice

ARRC Rnd Sepang Azlan Shah Gravel Sepang Free Practice

Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman

ASB debutant, Anuparb Sarmoon, made a good account of himself to finish the day eighth for Yamaha Thailand, while Kawasaki Thailand’s class rookie, Ryosuke Iwato and Access Plus Okada’s TJ Alberto completed the top ten.

ASB Qualifying and Race 1

During Saturday morning qualifying, the pattern of pre-season testing and free practice repeated, with nobody able to get within striking distance of the ONEXOX TKKR SAG BMW of Markus Reiterberger, who claimed pole position with a lap of 2’04.762.

Broc Parkes got to within 1.4 seconds of the German to put himself second from Yamaha Thailand’s Apiwat Wongthananon, who always seems to qualify on the front row. Broc’s team-mate, Yuki Ito was fourth, to lead the second row from the Access Plus Ducati of Lorenzo Zanetti.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Yuki Ito Free Practice ARRC Sepang

ARRC Rnd Sepang Yuki Ito Free Practice ARRC Sepang

Yuki Ito

Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman was seventh, ahead of Thitipong Warakorn. The Thai rider had his session disrupted when he crashed on water that had seeped onto the track at Turn 4. The incident brought out the red flag and there was a lengthy delay while marshals mopped and dried the surface.

As it often does, an electric storm hit Sepang later in the afternoon, causing a delay of around 45 minutes to the start of the race.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Azlan Shah Chill Free Practice ARRC Sepang

ARRC Rnd Sepang Azlan Shah Chill Free Practice ARRC Sepang

Azlan Shah

With racing on a wet track being a new experience for the 2020 BMW, the possibility of Markus being beaten began to look realistic. He got away at the front, but, ominously, Yuki Ito tucked in behind him and snatched the lead midway round lap one. Meanwhile, Apiwat was well-placed in third, just ahead of Broc, who went through at turn 15 and then passed Markus for second.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Broc Parkes Apiwat Wongthananon Anuparb Sarmoon Markus Reiterberger ARRC Race

ARRC Rnd Sepang Broc Parkes Apiwat Wongthananon Anuparb Sarmoon Markus Reiterberger ARRC Race

Broc Parkes, Apiwat Wongthananon, Anuparb Sarmoon, Markus Reiterberger

By lap three out of 12, Yuki had found his rhythm and was three seconds clear at the front. Markus ran wide and Yamaha Thailand’s Apiwat and Anuparb Sarmoon went through to third and fourth. Some five seconds further back, Lorenzo was battling with Farid Badrul and Azlan for sixth place, while Thitipong looked unhappy further back in tenth.

By half distance the race was looking settled, with Yuki hitting his marks smoothly and stretching his lead every lap. In contrast Broc was having to fend off the advances of a determined Apiwat, with both machines twitching and threatening to spit off their riders at every turn.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Yuki Ito Race Winner ARRC ASB

ARRC Rnd Sepang Yuki Ito Race Winner ARRC ASB

Yuki Ito claims the Race 1 win

These two were well clear of Anuparb, who was making a very respectable debut. Broc succumbed to Apiwat’s pressure on lap 11, going over the highside of his R1 and snapping his handlebars, to register a highly undesirable DNF.

Despite a leisurely trundle from turn 15 to the chequered flag, Yuki crossed the line 7.6 seconds ahead of Apiwat and Anuparb, who was 15 seconds behind his Yamaha Thailand team-mate. Markus came in a safe fourth from Zanetti, Azlan and Badrul.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Yuki Ito Race Winner ARRC ASB

ARRC Rnd Sepang Yuki Ito Race Winner ARRC ASB

Yuki Ito celebrates the Race 1 win

ASB Race 2

Storm clouds that had again looked threatening during the afternoon began to disperse as the Asia Superbike grid formed for race two.

Sitting on pole position, ONEXOX TKKR SAG’s Markus Reiterberger looked a lot more relaxed than he had 24 hours earlier for Saturday’s wet race, next to Yamaha Racing ASEAN’s Broc Parkes, who was feeling sore after high-siding out of second position in race one. Despite the setbacks, the Australian was determined to get the start of his ARRC season launched with a degree of success.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Markus Reiterberger ARRC ASB Sepang Race

ARRC Rnd Sepang Markus Reiterberger ARRC ASB Sepang Race

Markus Reiterberger

utside him, Yamaha Thailand’s Apiwat Wongthananon, who had hounded Broc the previous day and then benefited from the previous day’s crash, set his sights on another strong result.

Markus checked out at the start, pulling a few lengths clear as he got to the first corner. Broc was the best of the rest for a few corners until he got mugged by Apiwat, who fancied his chances of chasing down the German at the front. More discomfort followed for the Hunter Valley man, as he found himself under pressure from Yamaha Thailand’s Anuparb Sarmoon and Access Plus Okada Ducati’s Lorenzo Zanetti.

Kawasaki Thailand’s Thitipong Warakorn was next, with race one winner, Yuki Ito and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman completing a group of seven. On lap three, Lorenzo, who had predicted a podium finish, moved past Anuparb and Apiwat into second.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Apiwat Wongthananon Broc Parkes Lorenzo Zanetti Anuparb Sarmoon Race

ARRC Rnd Sepang Apiwat Wongthananon Broc Parkes Lorenzo Zanetti Anuparb Sarmoon Race

Apiwat Wongthananon, Broc Parkes, Lorenzo Zanetti, Anuparb Sarmoon

With half the 12-lap race done, Markus was 6.8 seconds clear and Lorenzo and Apiwat made up the provisional podium from Anuparb and Broc. Then Azlan seemed to finally gell with the 2020 Beemer and made his way through the group and up into second from Apiwat and Lorenzo. Anuparb crashed out of contention on lap seven.

With two laps left, a mistake by Azlan saw him hit the floor, while Broc and Thitipong, who had also taken a few knocks during the weekend got a lot more serious about their finishing positions. Broc moved onto the back of a twitchy-looking Ducati, but was unable to find a way past until the Italian appeared to miss a gear as he charged out of turn 15 towards the finish line. Broc narrowly avoided rear-ending him and took third place behind Markus and Apiwat. Zanetti came through to fourth in front of Thitipong and Yuki.

ARRC Rnd Sepang ARRC ASB Sepang Race Podium

ARRC Rnd Sepang ARRC ASB Sepang Race Podium

ASB Race 2 Podium

Apiwat’s brace of second places means that he leaves Sepang atop the standings with 40 points to Markus’s 38. Yuki lies third on 35 from Zanetti (24) and Thitipong (18). Broc’s DNF and third place finish put him sixth and level on points with Anuparb.

logoASB

logoASB



Source: MCNews.com.au

ARRC Superbike in-depth season preview

2020 Asia Road Racing Championship

Broc Parkes confirms ARRC campaign
Entries surge for 2020 opener

With Barry Russell


The FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) starts its 25th season on March 5, with more entries and more international attention than at any time since in its history. A total of 80 riders from 12 different countries will contest the seven-round, 14 race-championship.

The introduction of the Asia Superbike (ASB) class in 2019 replaced Supersport 600 as the series flagship. This move attracted European manufacturers for the first time and added a whole new level of racing to the series.

The Asia Superbike class provided close racing in 2019, with a championship battle that went down to the last race of the season between Broc Parkes and ultimate winner, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman. The contrast in styles and machinery between the top two protagonists made the seven-round, 14-race battle especially entertaining.

ARRC Superbike Broc Parkes Yuki Ito

ARRC Superbike Broc Parkes Yuki Ito

Broc Parkes and Yuki Ito

Broc will again partner Japan’s Yuki Ito in the Yamaha Racing ASEAN squad to face Azlan, as well as a much deeper field of potential champions.

The Malaysian stays with the ONEXOX TKKR SAG BMW with additional motivation on the other side of the garage in the shape of his new team-mate, former European Superstock champion and WSBK rider, Markus Reiterberger.

ARRC Superbike Azlan Shah ASB Champion

ARRC Superbike Azlan Shah ASB Champion

Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman

Third in the 2019 standings was Zaqhwan Zaidi, who made Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa’s vintage Fireblade go much faster than it should have. This year Zaqhwan will be on the brand-new Honda and carrying the marque’s expectations for the title.

ARRC Superbike Thitipong Warakorn ASB

ARRC Superbike Thitipong Warakorn ASB

Thitipong Warakorn

Kawasaki Thailand’s Thitipong Warakorn, who had his 2019 championship chances curtailed by horrific back injuries, starts the new season fit, determined and leading the charge for Team Green. Katsuake Fujiwara continues as team manager, bringing in rookie Ryusuke Iwato, following his impressive showing in the Japan Superbike (JSB) 1000 class last season.

ARRC Superbike Ryusuke Iwato ARRC

ARRC Superbike Ryusuke Iwato ARRC

Ryusuke Iwato (pictured) joins Thitipong Warakorn with Kawasaki Thailand

Yamaha Thailand’s Apiwat Wongthananon is another frontrunner from the land of smiles. The 2016 AP250 champion earned himself two seasons in the CEV Junior Moto3 World Championship with the VR46 Academy before returning home to partner Ratthapong Wilairot in ASB’s inaugural season.

He got up to speed quickly, qualifying on the front row at The Bend in round two and bothering the men at the front during the early laps. Mastering the YZF R1’s electronics over race distance took a little longer, but he scored a brace of thirds at Buriram in round three and at Sepang in round six.

ARRC Superbike Anuparb Sarmoon Ratthapong Wilairot Apiwat Wonthananon ARRC

ARRC Superbike Anuparb Sarmoon Ratthapong Wilairot Apiwat Wonthananon ARRC

Anuparb Sarmoon, Apiwat Wongthananon & Ratthapong Wilairot who will compete in Supersport

Former Thai superstock champion, the highly rated Anuparb Sarmoon, joins Apiwat in the premier class for 2020, after some impressive CEV Moto2 outings. Ratthapong, meanwhile returns to Supersport 600 as a former champion, having won the title in 2018.

Anuparb could quickly establish himself at the front. Although he is known in ARRC circles as a top AP 250 rider, he is supremely confident on a superbike and fans are in for a treat as they watch him wringing the neck of the YZF R1.

ARRC Superbike Anuparb Sarmoon ARRC

ARRC Superbike Anuparb Sarmoon ARRC

Anuparb Sarmoon

Meanwhile, another AP 250 champion, Indonesia’s Gerry Salim, returns from his CEV Moto2 adventures to partner Zaqhwan in the Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa squad. Team manager, Makoto Tamada, made no secret of his desire to run two ASB riders and is rewarded accordingly for last season’s results.

ARRC Superbike Gerry Salim Zaqhwan Zaidi

ARRC Superbike Gerry Salim Zaqhwan Zaidi

Zaqhwan Zaidi and Gerry Salim

It will be Gerry’s first campaign on a one-litre machine, so Honda’s management and his legions of Indonesian fans will be watching to see how quickly he can get to grips with the marque’s new flagship superbike.

Staying with Honda, Musashi, a well-known name in ARRC, comes in with a brand new team, Musashi HARC-PRO.HPI.ASIA and one of Japan’s most exciting riders, Ikuhiro Enokido. The 21-year-old finished second in the J-GP2 class of the All Japan Road Race Championship in 2019. The Japanese series is known for producing fast, tough riders and Musashi is no stranger to winning in ARRC, with a fair few fistfuls of Supersport titles already on the shelf.

Ducati Philippines added a great deal more than a touch of glamour to the grid in 2019. The team worked hard to find the right direction for the development of the Panigale and improved results steadily through the season with TJ Alberto finishing 11th in the standings.

The most conspicuous highlight was the sight of Italian wildcard, Frederico Sandi, leading race one at Sepang in round six before dropping back with tyre wear. Good news for the 2020 grid is that Sandi has signed to do the full season in 2020, so his participation is eagerly anticipated.

ARRC Superbike China Racing Team ARRC

ARRC Superbike China Racing Team ARRC

Mazspeedingrods Chieton China Racing Team

The much-anticipated entry of Mazspeedingrods Chieton China Racing Team is likely to be curtailed by travel restrictions following the spread of the nova coronavirus. With a pair of gleaming red BMW S 1000s ready for Ma Sai and Huang Zhi Zhao we can only wait and hope for a fast end to the prevailing global health crisis. The appearance of another Chinese superbike star, Li Zheng Peng, who has signed for Victor Racing Team, also looks likely to be delayed.

The official pre-season test, now less than two weeks away, will provide clues to how the season will pan out. Australian fans can note that a strong showing by Broc in the 2019 test, was followed by third and fifth place finishes, so the Hunter Valley man will be looking to get his 2020 title campaign off to a stronger start and to add to his tally of three ASB race wins. Round two will be at Tailem Bend, May 7-10, and will again be a double bill with ASBK. Last year Broc scored second and first place finishes at his first visit to the track.

Azlan, meanwhile, will be out to continue the winning run that earned him the 2019 championship and to get ahead of his new team-mate. Then there’s Zaqhwan, Thitipong, Apiwat and Anuparb, all with their own markers to put down.

ARRC Superbike Calendar Map

ARRC Superbike Calendar Map

The 2020 ARRC Superbike Calendar ASB Official Entries

ASB Official Entries

2020 Asia Superbike 1000 Entry List

Here’s a look at the final standings in the 2019 Asia Superbike 1000 championship, for reference.

Pos. Rider Nat. Points
1 Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman MAS 238
2 Broc Parkes AUS 225
3 Md Zaqhwan Zaidi MAS 211
4 Apiwat Wongthananon THA 161
5 Yuki Ito JPN 160
6 Thitipong Warokorn THA 139
7 Ratthapong Wilairot THA 116
8 Ahmad Yudhistira INA 83
9 Bryan Staring AUS 79
10 Chaiwichit Nisakul THA 79
11 Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto PHI 69
12 Federico Sandi ITA 40
13 Farid Badrul Hisham MAS 35
14 Kazuma Tsuda JPN 35
15 Shinichi Nakatomi JPN 32
16 Ali Andriansyah Rusmiputro INA 30
17 Jonathan Serrapica SUI 27
18 Li Zheng Peng CHN 15
19 Bastien Mackels BEL 12
20 Huang Zi Zhao CHN 12
21 Mark Aitchison AUS 10
22 Shahrulnizam Ramli MAS 10
23 Masahiro Shinjo JPN 9
24 Yannis Shaw AUS 8
25 K. Rajini Krishnan IND 8
26 Lachlan Epis AUS 6
27 Stephanie Redman AUS 4
28 Robert Daniel Kruger CAN 4
29 Koji Teramoto JPN 2
30 Chen Peng Yuan CHN 1

2020 Asia Road Racing Championship Calendar

  • Pre-Season Test – Sepang International Circuit, MALAYSIA – March 2–4, 2020
  • Round 1 – Sepang International Circuit, MALAYSIA – March 6–8, 2020
  • Round 2 – The Bend Motorsports Park, AUSTRALIA – May 7–10, 2020
  • Round 3 – Suzuka Circuit, JAPAN – June 26–28, 2020
  • Round 4 – Zhuhai International Circuit, CHINA – July 24–26, 2020
  • Round 5 – Chang International Circuit, THAILAND – August 21–23, 2020
  • Round 6 – Sepang International Circuit, MALAYSIA – September 25–27, 2020
  • Round 7 – Chang International Circuit, THAILAND – November 27–29, 2020

Source: MCNews.com.au

ARRC lifts Supersport 600 age cap for 2020

2020 Asia Road Racing Championship

Supersport shapes up for an epic season after ARRC lifts age cap

With Barry Russell


Having been ARRC’s premier class for 18 years, Supersport was repositioned in 2019 as a stepping stone for riders on their way up to ASB. In the process, an upper age limit of 25 was introduced.

The development category experiment was successful to the extent that stars like runaway champion, Peerapong Boonlert, Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin, and Andi Farid Izdihar found themselves drawn into CEV and Moto2 championships.

ARRC Supersport Zaqhwan Zaidi ASB

ARRC Supersport Zaqhwan Zaidi ASB

Zaqhwan Zaidi

The downside was that it thinned out the field. To ensure the ongoing health of the class promoter, TWMR has lifted the age cap to make it a true intermediate category. So, looking back at 2019 won’t tell you a thing about what could happen in 2020.

Teams have welcomed the move by springing surprises that promise a year of unpredictable, hard-fought battles. The result is also that out of 19 entries, 12 are riders who were not on the 600 grid in 2019. Of those, just three are above the erstwhile age limit.

ARRC Supersport Soichiro Minamimoto ARRC Suzuka

ARRC Supersport Soichiro Minamimoto ARRC Suzuka

Soichiro Minamimoto

Starting at what, for now, is the top, Yamaha Thailand are replacing 2019 champion Peerapong with their 2018 champion, Ratthapong Wilairot, who moves back to 600s after an indifferent year in ASB.

Next on the list comes Soichiro Minamimoto, the rider who, as a wildcard, broke Peerapong’s 2019 six race winning streak in round four at Suzuka. The 20-year-old will again be aboard the Akeno Speed Yamaha and starts the season as a top contender. Joining him is Yusuke Nakamura.

ARRC Supersport Soichiro Minamimoto Yusuke Nakamura ARRC

ARRC Supersport Soichiro Minamimoto Yusuke Nakamura ARRC

Soichiro Minamimoto and Yusuke Nakamura

Another promising young Japanese rider, Rei Toshima, emerges from the Japanese Superbike (JSB) paddock to join the grid for the evocatively monikered Speed Heart DOGFIGHT Racing Yamaha team. He has previously had outings in AP 250 and ran as a wildcard at Suzuka in 2019.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises is Victor Racing’s Ahmad Yudhistira, who was the stand-out ASB privateer in 2019. As with other international and top-level domestic series, factory involvement in ASB makes it difficult for those without it to compete at the front. It is less of a factor in Supersport, which gives a rider of Yudhistira’s quality a real shot at the title.

Adam Norrodin Ibrahim Norrodin IUSB ZK Racing SS

Adam Norrodin Ibrahim Norrodin IUSB ZK Racing SS

Adam Norrodin and Ibrahim Norrodin

Zulfahmi Kairuddin’s Sepang-based team takes on a slightly new name, IUSB ZK Racing, and doubles in size, signing both Adam and Ibrahim Norrodin for 2020. Adam was the team’s regular rider in 2019, causing all kinds of discomfort to Peerapong, scoring seven podiums from 12 starts, including wins in China and Thailand. Ibrahim stepped in for his big brother in Australia and surprised everyone with brilliant fourth and third place finishes. Sibling rivalry should keep both riders well and truly focused.

Yamaha Indonesia has promoted former AP 250 rider, Faerozi Toreqotullah to the intermediate class for 2020. Although always fast on a 250, Faerozi didn’t quite get into title contention and could well be one of those riders who goes better on bigger capacity bikes.

McKinley Kyle Paz Afif Amran Gen Blu SS

McKinley Kyle Paz Afif Amran Gen Blu SS

Kyle Paz and Afif Amran

Cross border collaboration between Hong Leong Yamaha and Yamaha Motor Philippines brings together Filipino prodigy, McKinley Kyle Paz and 2019’s highest scoring class rookie, Afif Amran. Under the Yamaha GENBLU Racing Team banner, the hugely popular UB 150 champion is expected to harness the extra horses quickly, as well as drawing thousands of extra eyeballs to the championship, while Afif should continue build on his impressive debut season.

He is sure to enjoy the additional 450cc and should work his way quickly into contention. At the time of writing there is speculation that another Filipino could join the class. If that indeed proves to be true, then expect to see McKinley’s erstwhile UB150 partner, Fernando Masato included in an announcement about the team they’ll be riding for.

ONEXOX TKKR SAG have just announced their full line-up for 2020. Ramdan Rosli is the only top rider from 2019 to reappear and he’ll be joined by Nazirul Izzat, whom the team promotes from AP 250. He’s a rider who showed good speed and was marked out as one to watch by some of us, despite a lack of consistency.

ARRC Supersport Muklada Sarapuech ARRC

ARRC Supersport Muklada Sarapuech ARRC

Muklada Sarapuech

With all the riders mentioned so far being Yamaha-mounted, the question has to be asked whether Honda can be competitive with its ageing CBR600RR. During 2019 there was an almost perfect split in qualifying and finishing positions, with Yamaha’s continually upgraded YZF-R1 occupying the top half, so it’s to be hoped that Honda will be helping their teams to find more speed.

There are some hugely talented riders aiming to break Yamaha’s stranglehold on the class, led, at least in terms of media attention, by AP Honda Racing Thailand’s Muklada Sarapuech. The 2015 Asia Dream Cup champion, having spent the last few seasons showing her male counterparts how to ride a 250, steps into the 600 class. The 26-year-old already has glittering supersport credentials, having won the Suzuka 4 Hours in 2019 and will immediately be on the pace.

Muklada is joined by Passawit Thitiwararak, who returns for a third season in the class. He established himself as one of the quickest Honda riders in 2019, finishing sixth overall in the standings.

ARRC Supersport Irfan Ardiansiah Rheza Danica Ahrens ARRC

ARRC Supersport Irfan Ardiansiah Rheza Danica Ahrens ARRC

Irfan Ardiansyah & Rheza Danica Ahrens

One of the most exciting riders to move up is Irfan Ardiansyah, who is rewarded by Astra Honda for his third place finish in the 2019 AP 250 championship. The young Indonesian has the maturity and confidence of a champion as well as the physical size to dominate a bigger machine, so expect him to get up to pace quickly. Rheza Danica Ahrens, the 2018 AP 250 champion, starts his second year in the class looking for strong results after a lacklustre inaugural season.

Musashi Boon Siew Honda are again fielding Malaysian underbone graduates, Azroy Hakeem Anuar and Helmi Azman, who won the UB150 title in 2018. Azroy, who starts his third supersport season, was the best of the Honda contingent in 2019, finishing fourth in the standings and will again be looking to get amongst the Yamahas and onto the podium. Helmi had a difficult first season after sustaining a nasty leg injury in round two. He should start 2020 with his fitness and confidence restored and will be aiming to mix it up with the leaders.

ARRC Supersport Helmi Azman Azroy Anuar ARRC

ARRC Supersport Helmi Azman Azroy Anuar ARRC

Azroy Hakeem Anuar and Helmi Azman

Another new team, Honda Philippines Okada Manila Access Plus Racing, will be in the next garage to the Ducati team of almost the same name. On board will be Troy Jacob Cua Alberto, younger brother of Timothy Joseph ‘TJ’ Cua Alberto. Troy, 18, has had some decent outings in the Asia Talent Cup and the Thailand Talent Cup and entered SS600 rounds last year at Sepang and Zhuhai for Yuzy Honda.

SS Official Entries

SS Official Entries

2020 ARRC Supersport 600 Entry List

With the age cap lifted, it could be anyone’s game, however here’s a look at the final standings in the 2019 Supersport 600 category.

2019 ARRC Supersport 600 Final Standings
Pos. Rider Nat. Points
1 Peerapong Boonlert THA 300
2 Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin MAS 224
3 Muhamad Adam Mohd Norrodin MAS 170
4 Azroy Hakeem Anuar MAS 125
5 Andi Farid Izdihar INA 115
6 Passawit Thitivararak THA 108
7 Md Helmi Azman MAS 105
8 Ahmad Afif Amran MAS 105
9 Md Ramdan Rosli MAS 90
10 Javier Orellana Malloy ESP 78
11 Rheza Danica Ahrens INA 78
12 Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi THA 68
13 Fakhrusy Syakirin Rostam MAS 52
14 Soichiro Minamimoto JPN 41
15 Ma Sai CHN 36
16 Liam Taylor MacDonald NZL 34
17 Kyusuke Okude JPN 30
18 Md Ibrahim Md Norrodin MAS 29
19 Yuto Sano JPN 23
20 Muhammad Izam Ikmal MAS 20
21 Katsuto Sano JPN 12
22 Nazirul Izzat Md Bahaudin MAS 11
23 Md Akid Aziz MAS 11
24 Sha Juntong CHN 9
25 Ao Leong Fu MAC 8
26 Chen Hpng Yan CHN 8
27 Kota Arakawa JPN 7
28 Chen Yuan Hang CHN 5
29 Md Khairul Ikhwan Ajis MAS 4
30 Rei Toshima JPN 1

2020 Asia Road Racing Championship Calendar

  • Pre-Season Test – Sepang International Circuit, MALAYSIA – March 2–4, 2020
  • Round 1 – Sepang International Circuit, MALAYSIA – March 6–8, 2020
  • Round 2 – The Bend Motorsports Park, AUSTRALIA – May 7–10, 2020
  • Round 3 – Suzuka Circuit, JAPAN – June 26–28, 2020
  • Round 4 – Zhuhai International Circuit, CHINA – July 24–26, 2020
  • Round 5 – Chang International Circuit, THAILAND – August 21–23, 2020
  • Round 6 – Sepang International Circuit, MALAYSIA – September 25–27, 2020
  • Round 7 – Chang International Circuit, THAILAND – November 27–29, 2020

Source: MCNews.com.au

2020 ARRC AP250 and Underbone line-ups take shape

2020 Asia Road Racing Championship

Big AP250 changes point to wide-open title fight

With Barry Russell


Predictions for the AP250 are practically impossible, with big gaps in team announcements and some top riders moving up to Supersport.

ARRC Rnd Japan Andy Fadly Katsuake Fujiwara ARRC Grid Suzuka

ARRC Rnd Japan Andy Fadly Katsuake Fujiwara ARRC Grid Suzuka

Andy Fadly

After much off-season uncertainty, it was confirmed last week that Manual Tech Kawasaki will return with their 2019 pairing of reigning champion Andy Fadly and Aiki Aiyoshi. That makes Fadly only the second AP 250 champion to defend his title.

Indonesia’s Astra Honda have announced three riders again, with Lucky Hendriansyah now leading the line, chased by class rookies, Herjun Atna Firdaus and Adenanta Putra.

ARRC AP Lucky Hendriansyah Herjun Atna Firdaus Mohammad Adenanta Putra

ARRC AP Lucky Hendriansyah Herjun Atna Firdaus Mohammad Adenanta Putra

Lucky Hendriansyah, Herjun Atna Firdaus and Adenanta Putra

With Muklada Sarapuech moving to the 600s, AP Honda Racing Thailand keep the promising Piyawat Patoomyos and bring in rookie, Kantapat Yakantai. Piyawat scored his first class win in the very last race of 2019 and has been tasked with breaking Indonesia’s stranglehold on the championship.

ONEXOX TKKR SAG are fielding three entries, keeping frontrunners, Muzakkir Mohamed and Rey Ratukore and bringing in Syafieq Aiman.

Rafid Topan Sucipto is a potential title winner who has yet to make an announcement. His fans will be hoping to see him on the Bike Corner Honda once again, which transformed his 2019 season following his switch from Yamaha.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Rafid Topan Sucipto Sepang

ARRC Rnd Sepang Rafid Topan Sucipto Sepang

Rafid Topan Sucipto is another rider yet to announce a ride

Anggi Setiawan is in again for Yamaha Indonesia, joined this year by Wahyu Nugroho, one of the most exciting Underbone riders we saw in 2019. Although he managed only one podium appearance, Nugroho’s speed is beyond doubt and he should grow as an all-round racer in AP250.

Yamaha Thailand will not have any AP250 entries this year. For now, the team is delegating young rider development to satellite outfit, Yamaha HiSpeed, which is expected to run wildcards at selected races. The team made their mark in the last race of the season, when Vorapong Malahuan brought his banana-yellow R25 through to second place behind AP Honda’s Piyawat.

ARRC AP Cao Viet Nam ARRC

ARRC AP Cao Viet Nam ARRC

Cao Viet Nam

Turning to some of the sport’s emerging countries in the region, the highly rated Cao Viet Nam joins the class for another year. The 2019 Thailand Talent Cup champion clearly has the ability to run at the front, so will be hoping for the full support of Honda Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Honda India are going for continuity with Sethu Rajiv and Senthil Chandrasekaran and Victor Racing bring in Chinese rider, Leong Nang Tse.

ARRC Rnd Tailem Bend AP Tatchakorn BUASRI lead

ARRC Rnd Tailem Bend AP Tatchakorn BUASRI lead

Asia Production 250

Finally, and as widely expected, Indian motorcycle giant TVS is in for 2020. The company’s racing division put a large toe in the water at Buriram last December, when they contracted World Supersport star Hikari Okubo to take the Apache 310RR for a spin in the final round. What they learned there will be taken forward by Vorapong Malahuan.

The popular Thai has a bagful of AP 250 trophies from several seasons with AP Honda and it’s hard to think of a more capable development rider. There are plenty of challenges for the mono-powered machine, such as rear wheel locking and chassis and suspension development, but there is no doubting the commitment and resources of TVS, so we should see their results on an upward curve during the season.

2019 AP250 Standings – Top 15
Pos. Rider Nat. Points
1 Andy Muhammad Fadly INA 214
2 Awhin Sanjaya INA 198
3 Irfan Ardiansyah INA 187
4 Muklada Sarapuech THA 143
5 Lucky Hendriansya INA 133
6 Reynaldo Christiano Ratukore INA 126
7 Tatchakorn Buasri THA 118
8 Rafid Topan INA 112
9 Piyawat Patoomyos THA 108
10 Aiki Iyoshi JPN 104
11 Muhammad Faerozy Toreqqotullah INA 86
12 Md Muzakkir Mohamed MAS 75
13 Nazirul Izzat Mohd Bahauddin MAS 52
14 Cao Viet Nam VIE 50
15 Anggi Setiawan INA 44

Late announcements leave pieces missing in UB150 jigsaw

Underbone racing fans know that this is a class apart. While many racers from Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand go on to international fame and fortune from Underbones, for many more, racing these hopped-up family bikes is what they end up doing for a living.

ARRC Rnd UB Leaders Race ARRC Sepang

ARRC Rnd UB Leaders Race ARRC Sepang

Underbone 150cc

The ARRC Underbone 150 class is the pinnacle of Underbone racing and a place where we get to see a mixture of young, ambitious teenagers fight it out with fast, clever riders, who are in some cases, older than their parents. It provides heart-stopping on-track competition that thrills and fascinates fans from far beyond the geographical limits of South East Asia.

While much of the interest comes straight from the intensity of the racing, Underbones also evoke a gone and golden age of racing, when you would buy a street machine, strip it, add the lightest, trickest parts you can find and tune the engine to breaking point.

ARRC Rnd Underbone Race Wawan leads Helmi outside

ARRC Rnd Underbone Race Wawan leads Helmi outside

Underbone 150cc

UMA Racing Yamaha (Philippines), which took the 2019 championship with McKInley Kyle Paz, return with Fernando Masato, who won race two in the first round, and the highly-rated Kerwin Chang.

Meanwhile, UMA Racing Yamaha (Malaysia) are back in with former champion Akid Aziz and Haziq Fairues, who gave notice of his potential last season by taking his first victory in round six at Sepang. Akid finished just two points behind McKinley in 2019, after two DNFs from mechanical failures in the final round.

Wawan Wello, who was in title contention until a foul run of luck at the end of 2019, has re-signed for SND Factory Racing. The team, which has parted company with former double champion, Gupita Kresna, also announced the signing of rookie, Hildan Kusuma.

ARRC UB Gupita Kresna

ARRC UB Gupita Kresna

Gupita Kresna

Gupita himself, who was has been dogged by a mix of bad luck and inconsistency in the past two seasons, joins Philippines outfit 41SM, where he will run together with John Emerson Inguito. It should be a good match – 41SM has strong domestic underbone credentials and the Indonesian’s experience and quality should help the team step up to international competition and enable him to set his sights on a third title.

Team One for All keeps its rider line-up for 2020, with another former champion, Malaysia’s Affendi Rosley and Thailand’s Peerapong Luiboonpeng. The pair will once again be making their presence felt under the watchful eye of 125 GP legend and team owner, Youichi Ui.

ONEXOX TKKR SAG is fielding a mix of established and emerging talent. Indonesian double champion, Wahyu Aji Trilaksana and the evergreen, ever-threatening Ahmad Fazli Sham are joined by Hafiza Rofa, who proved himself as a front-runner in 2019 and newcomer, Faiz Zekri.

ARRC UB Fazli Sham Wahyu Aji ONEXOX TKKR SAG

ARRC UB Fazli Sham Wahyu Aji ONEXOX TKKR SAG

Fazli Sham and Wahyu Aji

Aldi Satya Mahendra, the youngest rider in the class at 13, and who sensationally won a wet race two at Suzuka in 2019, will be flying the flag for Yamaha Indonesia. He is sure to cause plenty more upsets for senior riders this season.

Cardinals Racing Malaysia brings in two new riders, Fazrul Sham and Iqbal Amri from the Petronas Cub Prix talent pool for 2020.

RCB Yamaha YY Pang Racing are fielding three riders with Vietnam’s To Ha Dong Nghi joining regular frontrunners, Izzat Zaidi and Adib Rosley.

Proliner RCB 549 Kaboci Racing Team also have a three rider team, with Richard Taroreh, Iswandi Muis and Aldy Taufil.

Conspicuous by their absence are UMA Racing Yamaha’s 2018 champion, Akid Aziz and team mate Haziq Fairues. The duo just missed out to McKInley Kyle Paz in 2019, finishing second and third in the standings and it is hoped they will squeeze themselves onto the entry list within the next few days.

2019 UB150 Standings – Top 15
Pos. Rider Nat. Points
1 McKinley Kyle Paz PHI 121
2 Md Akid Aziz MAS 119
3 Md Haziq Md Fairues MAS 113
4 Wahyu Aji Trilaksana INA 110
5 Ahmad Fazli Sham MAS 106
6 Aldi Satya Mahendra INA 96
7 Wawan Wello INA 94
8 Fernando Masato PHI 93
9 Richard Richie Taroreh INA 78
10 Md Affendi Rosli MAS 72
11 Peerapong Luiboonpeng THA 71
12 Wahyu Nugroho INA 69
13 Md Amirul Ariff Musa MAS 65
14 Md Faiz Zekri Sabri MAS 60
15 Rozaiman Md Said MAS 54
…31 Travis Hall AUS 5

2020 Asia Road Racing Championship Calendar

  • Pre-Season Test – Sepang International Circuit, MALAYSIA – March 2–4, 2020
  • Round 1 – Sepang International Circuit, MALAYSIA – March 6–8, 2020
  • Round 2 – The Bend Motorsports Park, AUSTRALIA – May 7–10, 2020
  • Round 3 – Suzuka Circuit, JAPAN – June 26–28, 2020
  • Round 4 – Zhuhai International Circuit, CHINA – July 24–26, 2020
  • Round 5 – Chang International Circuit, THAILAND – August 21–23, 2020
  • Round 6 – Sepang International Circuit, MALAYSIA – September 25–27, 2020
  • Round 7 – Chang International Circuit, THAILAND – November 27–29, 2020

Source: MCNews.com.au

Markus Reiterberger to 2020 ARRC with BMW

2020 Asia Road Racing Championship


BMW have announced that Markus Reiterberger will be back in the saddle of a S 1000 RR again in 2020, with the 25-year-old to race for the Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team in next season’s Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) in Superstock.

Markus Reiterberger

“I am already excited about the Asia Road Racing Championship and am looking forward to riding with the Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team in the coming season. This championship is getting stronger all the time and is attracting more and more international interest, including from manufacturers. The squad has shown this season that it is one of the best teams in the series. I think we can achieve a lot together in 2020. I have shown that I do well on the Superstock versions of the RR, not least as Superstock European champion. All the ingredients for a strong season are in place and I am looking forward to getting started.”

Sepang Hour EWC Markus Reiterberger
Markus Reiterberger at the Sepang 8 Hour

The Asia Road Racing Championship is growing in popularity around the world, attracts big names from the international motorcycle racing scene, and is growing in importance in Asia. This season, it is holding race events in both Asia and Australia.

The team is also one of the most successful in ARRC, celebrating the win of the Rider title with Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman in 2019. The Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team is a private customer team and BMW Motorrad Motorsport will provide extensive support for Reiterberger’s involvement in the 2020 ARRC season.

Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director

“We are delighted that Markus will still be part of the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family. We are confident that he will be one of the top riders in the Asia Road Racing Championship from the very first race. He is very familiar with the BMW S 1000 RR and, in the Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team, he will be racing for one of the strongest teams in the series. We at BMW Motorrad Motorsport will do our bit to make it a successful season by offering technical support, among other things.”

Bobie Farid – Team Principal

“It is splendid to have Markus Reiterberger in the Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team for the 2020 season. He brings with him a wealth of motor racing experience, and that can only push the Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team forward. It will be a marvellous learning curve for the team to become more competitive and set a new standard of performance in the Asian Road Racing Championship. The Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team is keen to build on our strong performance with Azlan Shah in 2019, and we obviously would like to continue winning races and scoring podium finishes consistently. We will be working hard with our partners to be competitive, and it will be about building a winning mentality across all aspects of the Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team as well. We expect the on-track rivalry between the teams to be relentless, but we believe the team will be at the sharper end of the grid in the 2020 season.”

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang Kamaruzaman
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman

Source: MCNews.com.au

Kamaruzaman claims ASB title at Thai ARRC final | Parkes second

Underbone 150

As the 31 riders assembled on the congested grid for the start of Race 1, a clean start brought polesitter Haziq into the lead at Turn 1 with the rest of the grid in hot pursuit. The intensity of the title chase had ramped up the action in the Underbone 150cc Race 1. At the end of the first lap, the top 11 riders came across the finish line within the same second.

Unfortunately for championship leader Mohd Akid Aziz, mechanical failure forced him out of the race on Lap 2. More carnage ensued on the same lap when Mohammad Murobbil Vitoni, Syahrul Amin, Richard Taroreh and Muhamad Iqbal Abdul Malek got involved in a big pile-up at Turn 4. Thankfully, all the riders were able to walk away from the crash.

Seasoned campaigner Ahmad Fazli Sham used every bit of skill in his arsenal to lead the group across the finish line for most of the eight-lap race. Three laps to go, Fazli continued to mix things up at the front, championship hopeful McKinley Kyle Paz was meanwhile tucked into the front group on P6.

McKinley’s team mate Fernando Masato sprung a surprise on the last lap when he stormed past Fazli and into the lead. The Filipino rider held on to his advantage for two more corners but lost the lead to Fazli as they exited Turn 3. Team tactics came into play at this point when the ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team riders bunched up together to squeeze Masato out of the front. Fazli got onto the lead with the aid of their slipstream.

Another crash at the same corner gave Fazli the space he needed to pull ahead of the group. The Malaysian rider kept his momentum for the rest of the final lap and notched his second win of the season. Wahyu Aji Trilaksana made it a ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team 1-2 when he crossed the line in second place. Fernando Masato settled for third place.

McKinley Kyle Paz took control of the title chase when he finished tenth in Race 1. McKinley leading Akid by only two-points. The Underbone 150 title chase now down to five riders including Haziq Fairues, Ahmad Fazli Sham and Aldi Satya Mahendra ahead of the final race on Sunday.

Underbone 150 Race 2

McKinley Kyle Paz was disappointed not to qualify on the front row but in the Underbone class, the UMA Racing Yamaha Philippine Team rider knew that grid position is not everything. The 18-year-old, who was one of five riders still in the running for the 2019 title, knew that all he had to do was hunker down within the front group and bide his time for a last lap, last corner attack.

However, in the sheer unpredictability that is so characteristic of Underbone racing, pre-drawn plans and strategy went flying out the window the moment the 8-lap race was flagged off. Haziq Fairues and Akid Aziz were among the early leaders at the start of Race 2. At the end of Lap 1, 28 out of 31 were still bunched up in one big group, attacking the corners six abreast.

The first title contender to drop out of the race was Aldi Satya Mahendra. Aldi crashed out of the last turn along with Mohd Rozaiman Said. Haziq Fairues was very nearly swept along by the incident and lost eight positions to drop down to the back of the group.

On Lap 4, championship leader Akid Aziz retired from the race, his title hunt derailed again by mechanical failure. This left 20 riders in the leading charge, among them, McKinley Kyle Paz, Ahmad Fazli Sham, and Haziq Fairues.

McKinley’s bid for the title faltered when he crashed in the mid-section of the 4.554km circuit. Refusing to give up, the young Filipino rider was back on his bike in a flash even though he had lost touch with the front pack.

The leading group had not shrunk noticeably by the final lap. With the notorious Buriram Turn 12 looming, Ahmad Fazli Sham began to slipstream his way past Richie Taroreh, Mohd Izzat Zaidi and Wawan Wello. The seasoned campaigner was all set to take control of the final corner until he got skittled by Syahrul Amin.

Mohd Izzat Zaidi led the group across the finish line but was later penalised for exceeding the track limit at the last corner. Izzat’s penalty handed the win to Richie Taroreh who claimed his first win of the season with 16’23.670s. Wawan Wello and Wahyu Aji Trilaksana made it an all-Indonesian clean sweep in the Underbone 150 Race 2.

15 seconds behind, McKinley Kyle Paz finished just outside of the points in 16th place. Clueless about what had happened in front of him, the disappointed young rider had no idea that his title contenders had been taken out one by one in the intensity of the race. It was only when he returned, dejected, to the pits that he found out he had officially entered the history books as the first Filipino rider to become the FIM Asian Underbone 150cc champion with 121 points to his name.

Akid Aziz, despite two DNF finishes in the final round, stayed in second overall with 119 points while his team mate Haziq Fairues closed the season in third with 113 points.

While the UMA Racing Yamaha riders were busy celebrating their personal achievements, the ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team had quietly triumphed over UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team in the UB150 Team Awards.

Thanks to Wahyu’s steady performance, the Malaysian-based team won the team award by 190 points. UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team dropped to second with 178 points while UMA Racing Yamaha Philippine Team was ranked third with 139 points.

Underbone 150 Results

Source: MCNews.com.au

Azlan trims Parkes’ ARRC series lead after Sepang double

Asia Road Racing Championship 2019

Round 6 – Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

With Barry Russell


ASB 1000 championship leader, Broc Parkes, knew the heat would be on for Round 6 of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship at Sepang. As the home race for his two main title rivals, Zaqhwan Zaidi and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, keeping them at bay for two races was always going to be a big ask.

ARRC Rnd Sepang ARRC Sepang Crowd
Round 6 of the 2019 ARRC took place in Sepang, Malaysia

With Loris Baz as his stand-in for YART in the 2019/20 Bol d’Or, the Australian was giving his full attention to consolidating and building on his 188 points total – and the 35 point lead over Zaqhwan – that he took to Malaysia.

ARRC Rnd Sepang ARRC Grid Girls Sepang
2019 ARRC Round 6 – Sepang

Asia Superbike Free Practice

Two Malaysian riders on very different bikes and with very different styles took control of free practice. It was the smooth riding Zaqhwan on the Honda Asia Dream with Showa SP2 who ended up quickest on combined times after stopping the clock at 2:06.502 in Friday’s final session. Meanwhile, the hard charging Azlan on the ONEXOX TKKR SAG BMW led FP1 and FP2 and recorded his best time of 2:06.665 early in the day’s final session.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Zaqhwan Zaidi Wheelie Sepang
Zaqwan Zaidi took control of FP

Yamaha Thailand’s Apiwat Wongthananon impressed again and was placed third ahead of championship leader, Broc whose best time was 2:06.919. Ahmad Yudhistira took the privateer Victor Racing Yamaha to a strong fifth in front of lap record holder, Thithipong Warakorn, who was battling flu as well as his back injury. Yuki Ito had a quiet day by his standards and ended up seventh.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Thitipong Warakorn Sepang
Thitipong Warakorn was battling the flu and still recovering from injury

Italian wildcard, Frederico Sandi, made an excellent debut on the third Access Plus Racing Ducati, recording a best lap of 2:08.266 to end up eighth in front of team regular, TJ Alberto. Thitipong’s Kawasaki Thailand team-mate, Chaiwichit Nisakul, was tenth on 2:08.719, while Yamaha Thailand’s Ratthapong Wilairot spent the day lapping in the 2:09s and finished 11th.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Azlan Shah Drifter
Azlan Shah

Asia Superbike Qualifying

When it got to business time in Saturday morning’s 40 minute qualifying session, Broc put it all together on his Yamaha Racing ASEAN R1 to take pole position with a best lap of 2:06.107, 0.24s better than second placed Azlan and more than half a second quicker than Apiwat, who completed the front row.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Azlan Shah Sepang
Azlan Shah missed out on pole by 0.24s

Zaqhwan, on 2:06.735 led row two from Yuki Ito and Thitipong, for Kawasaki Thailand. Frederico raised more than a few eyebrows by qualifying seventh, in front of Yudhistira and team-mate, TJ Alberto.

Asia Superbike Race 1

It was the platinum version of Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman who jumped aboard the ONEXOX TKKR BMW at Sepang on Saturday afternoon. The two-times ARRC 600 champion kept himself within striking distance of the front during the frantic early laps, made a decisive move into the lead on lap eight and never looked threatened thereafter.

ARRC Rnd Sepang ASB Start Sepang
Asia Superbike 1000 race start

We were also treated to the first ever sighting of a Ducati leading an ARRC race, thanks to a convincing performance by Italian wildcard, Frederico Sandi on the Access Plus Racing Panigale.

Broc and Azlan had leisurely launches from the grid, while Apiwat scorched away from the outside of the front row to take the lead. Zaqhwan chased him, followed by Sandi and Azlan, Broc and Thitipong. Zaqhwan took the lead into turn one on lap two, but then dumped his Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa SP2 – and his realistic title hopes – into the gravel a few corners later.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Frederico Sandi Ducati Sepang
Frederico Sandi debuted Ducati at the ARRC

Frederico took his Ducati into the lead on lap three and, chased by Apiwat and Azlan, looked comfortable until his Dunlop-munching Panigale made him increasingly wayward from lap seven. Meanwhile, the man flu stricken Thitipong Warakorn, worked his way past Broc onto the rear of the front group as Azlan made his decisive move into the lead. Yuki pulled off the track with a mechanical failure on lap nine.

Thitipong kept pushing and got close enough to Apiwat to make his second place look vulnerable. Azlan made himself comfortable at the front as the two riders behind him, who have a few tales to tell from the Thai championships, locked horns. Thitipong got into second on lap 11 of 12, only for Apiwat to sweep back past him.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Broc Parkes Wheelie Sepang
Australian Broc Parkes claimed fourth in Race 1

However, the Kawasaki Thailand man was not done and, going into the last corner wide and then cutting inside, managed to out-drag the Yamaha to the line by one tenth of a second to finish 1.4 seconds behind Azlan. Broc got the better of Frederico for fourth, leaving Ratthapong Wilairot in sixth, 16 seconds behind the winner and six seconds in front of seventh-placed Chaiwichit Nisakul.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Azlan Wins Sepang
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman in the lead

Azlan’s fourth win of the season and Zaqhwan’s DNF put the ONEXOX TKKR SAG pilot into second in the standings on 168 points, 33 behind Broc, whose fourth place lifted his total to 201.

Asia Superbike Race 2

It was doubles all round at Sepang as Azlan Shah chalked his fifth win of the year and a Round 6 double. Thitipong Warakorn and Apiwat Wongthananon sealed braces of seconds and thirds respectively.

ARRC Rnd Sepang ZaqhwanZaidi Drifter
Zaqwan Zaidi

The ailing Thitipong shot his ZX-10RR through from row two at the start of the 11 lap race to lead into turn one, chased hard by Apiwat and Broc, who already looked in better shape than he had in race one. Zaqhwan and Azlan, who had made another languid start, led the chase behind the first three.

Zaqhwan soon began to slip back and Frederico Sandi showed that his race one performance had been no fluke by moving his Access Plus Ducati past both Malaysians and Ahmad Yudhistira into fourth place on lap five.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Zaqhwan Zaidi Makoto Tamada Sepang
Zaqhwan Zaidi on the grid

Then Azlan began to move up, passing Frederico, Broc and Apiwat to take second and put Thitipong under pressure. Apiwat stayed close as Azlan went through to take the lead on lap 8, but was unable to get past Thitipong, who was hanging on to the back of the BMW.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Azlan Shah Win SepangBroc remained fourth until lap 10, when Zaqhwan got through. The Honda man almost immediately lost the front, but found his inner Marc Marquez and recovered without losing his track position. Frederico dropped down the order after lap seven, as traction and directional issues again kept him out of contention. Yudhistira lowsided out of the race on lap 10.

Looking nice and comfy on the last lap, Azlan stroked his BMW to win number five in 2019. He crossed the line 1.2 seconds ahead of Thitipong, who just managed to keep Apiwat at bay Zaqhwan finished fourth, while Broc took fifth place just behind him. Yuki, Frederico, Ratthapong, Chaiwichit Nisakul and Ali Adriansyah Rusmiputro completed the top ten.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Azlan Thitipong Apiwat Sepang
The ASB 1000 podium saw Azlan, Thitipong and Apiwat claim top honours in Sepang

That means that Broc Parkes will go into the final round at Chang International Circuit on 212 points, 11 ahead of Azlan’s 193. Zaqhwan is now adrift in third place on 166.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Broc Parkes extends ASB 1000 lead in China | ARRC Round 5

Asia Road Racing Championship 2019

Round 5 – Zhuhai International Circuit, China

With Barry Russell

Broc Parkes extends ASB 1000

Broc Parkes had another successful weekend on Asia Superbike duty for Yamaha Racing ASEAN at a baking hot Zhuhai International Circuit, situated just across the Chinese border with Macao.

The endurance racing exponent built on the 27-point lead he took into ARRC round five with a fourth place and a win, to leave with a 35 point lead over Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa’s Zaqhwan Zaidi. From 10 starts in the series, Broc has finished every race, notching up three wins, four podiums, two fourths and a fifth. Championship winning form, indeed.

ARRC Round China ARRC Zhuhai Ambient
Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

There was one other high profile Australian on the entry list at Zhuhai. Mark Aitchison, who lives in China and competes in the national superbike series, was one of six wildcards to join ARRC’s premier class this season. Other noteables included Lee Zheng Peng and Canadian street racer, Dan Kruger.

In a region sometimes referred to as China’s Gold Coast because of its immaculate beaches, parks and modern, luxury accommodation, Zhuhai’s summer weather was hotter than usual due to a passing typhoon.

ARRC Round China Li Zheng Peng ARRC Zhuhai
Lee Zheng Peng – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Teams and officials arriving from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore were all shocked by the intense, dry heat they had to contend with for all three days of competition, despite early forecasts of rain.

The 2019 championship has widely been viewed as a contest between the consistency of Parkes and the mercurial brilliance of Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, who began round five in second position in the standings, but the story ran much deeper than that.

ARRC Round China ARRC Zhuhai Ambient
Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Zhuhai International Circuit, with its long straights and tight corners is a fairly simple, stop-go track with plenty of mechanical and physical challenges. It’s 4.3 kilometres long and runs clockwise with nine right and five left turns.

ARRC Round China Azlan Shah ARRC Grid Zhuhai
Azlan Shah – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Free Practice

It had been seven years since ARRC had visited Zhuhai, so track knowledge was effectively neutralised. Broc and Zaqhwan were the first and fastest to acclimatize. Zaqhwan won the game of cat and mouse between the two in each of the three sessions, posting a best time of 1:34.482 in FP2 to Broc’s 1:32.530.

ARRC Round China Broc Parkes ARRC FP Crash
Broc Parkes’s crash in FP – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Broc’s indomitable team-mate, Yuki Ito, was third on combined times, just nine thousandths slower than the Australian.  Azlan was fourth fastest, though more than half-a-second adrift of Yuki and Li Zheng Peng was fifth from Thitipong Warakorn, who was appearing for the first time since round one following a near career ending crash back in March when he crashed as a WSBK wildcard and was run over by Leon Camier.

ARRC Round China Thitipong Warakorn Comeback ARRC
Thitipong Warakorn made his comeback in China – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Qualifying

Broc managed to turn the tables on Zaqhwan in Saturday morning’s 40 minute qualifying session. On his last flying lap he became the only rider to dip under 1:34, stopping the clock at 1:34.994, 0.037s quicker than Zaqhwan. Azlan lopped almost a second off his best free practice time, to put himself into the frame with a 1:34.258.

ARRC Round China Zaqhwan Zaidi Yuki Ito Thitipong Warakorn ARRC
Zaqhwan Zaidi and Yuki Ito – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Yuki led row two from Thitipong and Yamaha Thailand’s Apiwat Wongthananon. The third row was Ratthapong Wilairot, Mark Aitchisonon the YSS China Yamaha and Kawasaki Thailand’s Chaiwichit Nisakul.

Race One

Broc wasted his pole position, letting Zaqhwan take the lead and getting passed by Yuki Ito, Thitipong  Azlan and Apiwat.

ARRC Round China Zaqhwan Zaidi ARRC Zhuhai
Zaqhwan Zaidi – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Yuki stuck close to the leader in the early laps, but found himself increasingly under pressure from Thitipong Warakorn, who looked as strong as ever on his comeback, and Azlan, who low-sided out of proceedings on lap seven at turn seven. Just behind them, Parkes kept the pressure on Apiwat before moving through to fourth and tried to catch the front three.

ARRC Round China Thitipong Warakorn ARRC Zhuhai
Thitipong Warakorn – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Zaqhwan fast and inch-perfect at the front, stretched his advantage to around a second by mid-distance as Yuki and Thitipong tussled over second. Another sequence of quick laps saw Zaqhwan open up the gap to 1.7 seconds.

ARRC Round China ASB Race Podium
ASB1000 Race 1 podium – 1) Zaqhwan Zaidi 2) Yuki Ito, 3) Thitipong Warokorn – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Parkes, struggling with front brake and rear grip problems, kept the three riders in front of him in his sights and got clear of Apiwat, but was unable to get close enough to pass Thitipong and settled for fourth, 2.35 seconds behind the winner.

ARRC Round China Zaqhwan Zaidi Makoto Tamada Parc Ferme ARRC
Zaqhwan Zaidi – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Azlan’s mistake let Zaqhwan through to second in the standings, 23 points behind Broc, whose total moved up to 166. Azlan stayed third, while Yuki moved up one place to fourth.

ARRC Round China Thitipong Warakorn Zaqhwan Zaidi Parc Ferme
Zaqhwan Zaidi and Thitipong Warakorn – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Race Two

While air and track temperatures continued to scorch machines and riders on Sunday, there was a very different look to ASB 1000 race two. Broc, who had been out of sorts on Saturday, got his Yamaha Racing ASEAN R1 hooked up perfectly for race two to take a relatively comfortable win.

ARRC Round China Broc Parkes ARRC Zhuhai
Broc Parkes – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Zaqhwan meanwhile, who had been peerless in race one, had a real fight on his hands, as Azlan also turned things around after the previous day’s DNF. Yuki Ito followed up his race one P2 with third place after edging Zaqhwan off the podium and Thitipong continued his recovery from injury by finishing fifth, just 2.9 seconds behind the winner.

Zaqhwan got off to a good start, as did Azlan, who looked confident on the ONEXOX TKKR SAG BMW. He harrassed the Honda Asia Dream Racing by Showa rider while keeping Broc, Thitipong, Yuki and Apiwat at bay behind him. Apiwat’s challenge ended on lap three when a fading front brake forced his retirement. Yuki passed Thitipong for fourth and Broc passed Azlan for second.

ARRC Round China Zaqhwan Zaidi ARRC Zhuhai
Zaqhwan Zaidi – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Broc took the lead on lap five and did what he does best, putting a series of fast, consistent laps together to open a gap of more than a second at the front. Zaqhwan and Azlan grappled for second behind him, shadowed by Yuki and Thitipong.

A forced error by Zaqhwan let Azlan through to second and Yuki through to third. He fought back, briefly recovering to second before running wide again to let Azlan and Yuki through again.

ARRC Round China Azlan Shah ARRC Zhuhai Wheelie
Azlan Shah – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

Having open up a lead of 2.5 seconds, Parkes eased up on the last two laps to take the chequered flag by 1.4 seconds from Azlan. A further one second back, Yuki held off Zaqhwan for third and Thitipong followed closely into fifth. Nine seconds behind the Thai Kawasaki, Mark Aitchison was the first of the wildcards home in sixth in front of Ahmad Yudhistira and Ratthapong Wilairot. Kawasaki Thailand’s Chaiwichit Nisakul was ninth and Li Zheng Peng completed the top ten.

ARRC Round China Yuki Ito ARRC Zhuhai
Yuki Ito – Zhuhai International Circuit – 2019 ARRC Round 5

It was a good weekend’s work for Broc, finishing fourth when he had problems in race one and taking his third win of the season when everything came together. His tally at the top of the standings is now 188, 35 clear of Zaqhwan and 45 from Azlan. Yuki is now in a solid fourth position with 131 points.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Parkes heads Asia Superbikes despite Azlan’s Thai double

Asia Superbike 1000

It was hard to call ARRC’s new-for-2019 premier class in Thailand. It was the tenth time the series has made the trip to Buriram, but the first time any of Asia’s regular stars had raced a superbike there. On the other hand, Parkes and Staring had no track experience, but vastly more time aboard one-litre machinery. Adding to that, two rounds and four races had seen race wins from four different riders and four different manufacturers.

ARRC Rnd Chang Thai ARRC Broc Parkes Apiwat
Broc Parkes – Asia Superbike – ARRC Round 3

Daytime temperatures were in the early 30s, track temperatures in the early 40s and, while rain threatened on Friday and Saturday, there was nothing to disrupt proceedings.

The mercurial Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, lying second to Parkes in the championship after Round 2, got his green liveried ONEXOX TKKR SAG BMW hooked up nicely in Friday’s free practice to finish the day top on combined times with a best lap of 1:35.518 in FP3.

ARRC Rnd Chang Thai Yamaha Ambient
Chang International Circuit – ARRC Round 3

That was 0.756 faster than Honda Asia Dream Racing’s Zaqhwan Zaidi, who missed the last session when he somersaulted his CBR1000RR SP on the out lap.

ARRC Rnd Chang Thai ARRC Ambient Grid Fisheye
Chang International Circuit – ARRC Round 3

Apiwat Wongthananon, who showed plenty of speed at Tailem Bend, applied his track knowledge to good effect to record 1:36.416, 0.15s better than Broc, who brought his times down progressively in each session. Ahmad Yudhistira, Yuki Ito and Ratthapong Wilairot also recorded times in the 1:36s, while Bryan managed a best time of 1:37.004 to end the day eighth.

ARRC Rnd Chang Thai ARRC Ambient Crowd
Chang International Circuit – ARRC Round 3

Qualifying on Saturday morning went much the same way. Azlan was unable to quite match his best free practice time, crashing in the closing moments, but still took pole with a time of 1:35.790, which edged Yamaha Thailand’s hard charging Apiwat to the middle of the front row by seven thousandths of a second.

ARRC Rnd Chang Thai ARRC Buriram Ambient
Chang International Circuit – ARRC Round 3

Zaqhwan was third on 1:36.062, Parkes improved on his best practice time, recording 1:36.385, which was two hundredths better than team-mate Ito and about the same again in front of Victor Racing’s Ahmad Yudhistira.

ARRC Rnd Chang Thai Bryan Staring Chaiwichit Nisakul
Bryan Staring – Asia Superbike – ARRC Round 3

Bryan got his times into the 1:36s and ended up sandwiched on the third row between Ratthapong and Access Plus Ducati’s TJ Alberto, who was promoted to ninth after Chaiwichit Nisakul crashed and broke his left wrist after recording 1:36.978 early in the session.

Asia Superbike Race 1

Rain clouds gathered overhead and spattered the grid for race one’s 13 laps on Saturday afternoon. The threat of rain faded on the warm-up lap and when the lights went out Apiwat got the best launch from the middle of the front row to lead poleman Azlan first time around, from Zaqhwan, who found himself holding off the three Yamahas of Ito, Yudhistira and Ratthapong and the Kawasaki of Bryan Staring. TJ Alberto, headed the rest of the field.

ARRC Rnd Chang Thai Azlan Apiwat Zaqhwan
Azlan Shah – Asia Superbike – ARRC Round 3

At mid distance Azlan and Apiwat had got around one second clear, only for Zaqhwan to close them back down, bringing Broc Parkes and Yuki Ito with him. There was little to choose between the Malaysian and the Thai at the front, until Apiwat ran wide at turn 12 at the end of lap nine, falling back to fifth, before mounting a recovery.

Zaqhwan made a bid to catch the green BMW, leaving Broc and Ito in a squabble with Apiwat, as the Thai rider fought his way back. At the end Azlan swept to his second win of the season six tenths clear of compatriot, Zaqhwan, while Apiwat got in front of Ito, then Broc, to take third.

Three-and-a-half seconds further back, Ratthapong came through to sixth, holding off Bryan and Yudhistira. TJ came through to ninth ahead of Farid Badrul on the second ONEXOX TKKR SAG BMW, Kazuma Tsuda and Jonathan Serrapica.

ARRC Rnd Chang Thai Bryan Staring Group ARRC Chang
Bryan Staring – Asia Superbike – ARRC Round 3

Asia Superbike Race 2

Lessons learned on Saturday produced a very different race on Sunday, which was run under clear skies and slightly hotter temperatures. Azlan got his BMW away well, from Broc Parkes, Zaqhwan Zaidi and Yuki Ito. Apiwat Wongthananon was slow off the line, but quickly fought his way through to third, as Zaqhwan dropped slightly off the pace.

ARRC Rnd Chang Thai Azlan Shah Race Group
Azlan Shah – Asia Superbike – ARRC Round 3

Broc, then Apiwat got past Azlan. The Australian was unable to break clear, but his Thai and Malaysian challengers were also unable to get past as the race moved into its late stages. The game changed on the final lap as Azlan moved past Apiwat to take second and put Broc under pressure.

ARRC Rnd Chang Thai Azlan Shah ARRC Round
Azlan Shah – Asia Superbike – ARRC Round 3

Apiwat fought back and the three approached Chang’s notorious turn 12 together. Azlan moved to the inside of Parkes, lost the front under braking, picked his BMW back up and scrambled to the line to complete the double a wheel in front of Broc, who was just four thousandths clear of Apiwat.

ARRC Rnd Chang Thai Azlan Shah Broc Parkes Apiwat Wongthananon
Azlan Shah, Broc Parkes, Apiwat Wongthananon – ARRC Round 3, 2019

Zaqhwan held steady to take fourth, a second clear of Ahmad Yudhistira, who did another brilliant job for Victor Racing Team as the top privateer. Yuki Ito, who went back after a promising start, finished sixth ahead of Bryan for Kawasaki Thailand.

Parkes stays at the top of the standings after another solid weekend’s work, moving up to 105 points, while Azlan’s double brings him to 97 ahead of Zaqhwan on 84.

ARRC Rnd Chang Thai Azlan Shah Broc Parkes Apiwat Podium
Asia Superbike Podium – ARRC Round 3

2019 ARRC Round 3 – Asia Superbike Results

Source: MCNews.com.au