- Asia Road Racing Championship Round 1, Thailand
- Supersports 600cc / Asia Production 250cc
- Date: 4 March, 2018
- Circuit: Chang International Circuit (4.554 km)
Azlan Opens 2018 Campaign with Double Podium Finishes.
Two times Asian champion Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman is in the hunt for the third title of his career. The experienced Malaysian rider made this perfectly clear with two strong performances at the season opener of the 2018 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship in Thailand.
With a third place finish under his belt from Race 1, Azlan was eager for another appointment with the podium in Race 2. Racing under the blistering heat, with air temperature up to 36 degrees and track temperature recorded at 60 degrees Celsius, a remarkably fit Azlan featured prominently in Race 2.
The first 11 laps of the race witnessed close fighting between Azlan , Anthony West, Ratthapong Wilairot, Zaqhwan Zaidi and Decha Kraisart.
Azlan stuck to the leading group for the first half of the race. He began to seriously look for a way through on Lap 15 but ran wide at Turn 1. He rejoined the race in P4. Azlan rode the wheels off his Kawasaki Ninja in an effort to catch up and was rewarded with another P3 finish when Zaqhwan Zaidi collided into Ratthapong Wilairot at the last corner.
Azlan finished the race with 30’01.634s. Up ahead, Anthony West clinched the race win.
Meanwhile, Azlan’s team mate, Ahmad Yudhistira had a disappointing Race 2 when a rider crashed into him at the start of the race. The incident on Lap 1 effectively ended Yudhis’s race.
Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki rider, Andy Muhammad Fadly, completed the season opener of the 2018 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship on a satisfactory note. The task of turning a newly launched bike model into a race-ready machine is something that cannot be rushed.
Fadly and his team of Kawasaki engineers rose to the occasion as their teamwork gave the 18-year-old rider two solid top-10 positions in the Asia Production 250cc class.
After a hard-won P10 in Race 1, Fadly achieved similar results in Race 2, improving on his starting position from the fifth row.
clean start brought Fadly to the top percentile of the Asia Production 250cc grid at the start of the race. With positions swapping at every corner, Fadly was able to hold his own to eventually take another 10th place finish in 19’13.243s.
In all, it was a job well done for the young rider. As compared to the results from the 2017 season, Fadly had already improved on both his laptimes and his race position.
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman:
“Race 2 was very difficult, especially in the closing parts of the race when I had exhausted my tyre. It was difficult even to keep pace let alone try to close the gap with the leader. Luckily I put myself on podium. Of course, I thank my team, Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki. Their hard work resulted in a double podium and I think we can be satisfied with that.”
H A Yudhistira：
“What can I say? It was too bad that the incident at Turn 1 ended Race 2 for me. I am bitterly disappointed at the outcome. One of the riders, I’m not sure who, suddenly picked up his bike as we were almost parallel. He touched my bike and I crashed out of the race. I would like to apologize to my team, Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki for the unfortunate incident.”
Katsuaki Fujiwara, Team Coach:
“All the riders faced tough racing conditions today. The super-high temperature caused some problems during the race, but with their strength, determination and experience, we were able to overcome those issues. Two podium finishes is good for Azlan’s title defense. Consistency is the key here. As for Yudhistira, I think there is no need to apologize. He was a victim of the race incident and it was a situation that was beyond his control. Let’s look forward to our next outing at The Bend Motorsports Park in Australia.”
|3||25||Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman||Kawasaki|
|4||21||Md Zaqhwan Zaidi||Honda|
|10||27||Andi Farid Izdihar||Honda|
|11||20||Azroy Hakeem Anuar||Honda|
|14||32||Md Ramdan Rosli||Yamaha|
|15||127||Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin||Yamaha|
|17||80||Amirul Hafiq Azmi||Yamaha|
|19||66||Muhammad Ibrahim Norrodin||Kawasaki|
|20||92||Md Muzakkir Mohamed||Yamaha|
|3||25||Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman||Kawasaki|
|6||27||Andi Farid Izdihar||Honda|
|8||20||Azroy Hakeem Anuar||Honda|
|11||32||Md Ramdan Rosli||Yamaha|
|15||21||Md Zaqhwan Zaidi||Honda|
|16||80||Amirul Hafiq Azmi||Yamaha|
|17||66||Muhammad Ibrahim Norrodin||Kawasaki|
|18||92||Md Muzakkir Mohamed||Yamaha|