Round 03 Japan
Md Zaqhwan Zaidi 5th / 9th at Suzuka, Tomoyoshi Koyama 7th / 10th
Md Zaqhwan Zaidi finished 5th and 9th in the double-header of the SS600 class in Round 3 of the 2018 Asia Road Racing Championship held at the Suzuka Circuit in Mie, Japan.
Round 3 of the 2018 Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) was held at the Suzuka Circuit in Mie, Japan. The weather was sunny throughout the week, atypical in the lead up to the Summer season. Three practice sessions were held on the Friday, with Qualifying on the following day. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (Kawasaki) took pole, joined on the front row by Md Zaqhwan Zaidi (Musashi Boon Siew Honda) two places behind. ARRC-rookie Keisuke Kurihara (A.P. Honda Racing Thailand) who had fallen earlier nonetheless managed to qualify 11th. Tomoyoshi Koyama (Musashi Boon Siew Honda) was 12th, and Taiga Hada (Idemitsu Honda Racing India by T.Pro Ten10) was 15th in qualifying.
In Race 1, Kamaruzaman took the holeshot, threatening to lead the race from the opening lap. The Kawasaki rider was chased by Ratthapong Wilairot (Yamaha), Yuki Ito (Yamaha), Zaidi, and Keminth Kubo (Yamaha). On Lap 2, Wilairot takes the lead ahead of a shuffled order of Ito, Kamaruzaman, Zaidi, and Anthony West (Yamaha). Ito is in front at the 130R, pursued by Ito, Wilairot, Kamaruzaman, West, Zaidi, Kubo, Andi Farid Izdihar (Astra Honda Racing Team), Ahmad Yudhistira (Kawasaki), Kyosuke Okada (Kawasaki), Decha Kraisart (Yamaha), Koyama and Hada.
On Lap 4, Wilairot had taken the lead. West moved up to 2nd place at the reverse bank, and charged on to snatch the top spot, ahead of Wilairot, Ito, Kamaruzaman, Kubo, Izdihar, Zaidi, and Yudhistira. Koyama, in a battle with Okuda for 9th place, pulled ahead to pursue the race leaders. Wilairot retook the lead at the chicane, but soon relinquished his position to Kamaruzaman at Turn 1 on Lap 6. Yudhistira was close behind in 2nd, and both were caught by the chasing group, with ten riders now contending for victory. Yudhistira pulls ahead at the 130R, and on Lap 7, the race order was Yudhistira, West, Kamaruzaman, Ito, Kubo, Wilairot, Izdihar, Zaidi, Okuda and Koyama, all hellbent on winning. Behind them, Hada and Soichiro Minamimoto (Yamaha) battled for 11th place. On Lap 9, West takes the lead at the chicanes, but is soon overtaken by Yudhistira. On Lap 10 the order is Yudhistira, Kamaruzaman, West, Ito, Wilairot, Izdihar, Zaidi, Kubo, Koyama and Okuda. Kamaruzaman forges ahead on Lap 11, and attempts to pull away. Izdihar crashed at the 200R. Kamaruzaman emerged the race winner, followed by Yudhistira. West conquers the battle for 3rd, with Ito 4th, Zaidi 5th, Kubo 6th, and Koyama 7th. Hada finished the race 12th, and Kurihara was 16th.
Md Zaqhwan Zaidi
In Race 2, Kamaruzaman took the holeshot and was still in front by the end of the lap, chased by Ito, Zaidi, Wilairot, and West, only to be stopped as the race was red-flagged due to Patrick Lee (Yamaha) crashing on the opening lap. The 13-lap race was restarted as a 10-lap sprint.
As the shortened race began, Kamaruzaman led, with Ito moving up to 2nd on Lap 2. Wilairot, Zaidi, West, Yudhistira, Kubo, Kraisart, Koyama and Hada were close behind. The fight for the lead became a 12-way battle, which on Lap 3, was temporarily won by Ito, chased by Kamaruzaman, West, Yudhistira, Kubo, Kraisart, Wilairot, Zaidi, Koyama, Izdihar, Hada, Minamimoto, and Okuda. West emerged from the pack, to chase the race leader Ito. Zaidi moved up to 7th place, with Izdihar in tow. On Lap 5, Ito relinquishes his lead to West, but both are overtaken by Yudhistira at the 130R. The positions change to Ito, West, Kubo, Kamaruzaman and Kraisart. On Lap 6, Ito retakes the lead at the chicane, in front of West and Kubo, just ahead of Yudhistira, Kamaruzaman, Kraisart, Zaidi, Izdihar, Wilairot and Koyama. One lap later, Kubo leads the race, but is overtaken by Ito at Turn 1 only a lap later. The top 10 places continued to be fluid until the final lap, which proved to be an even more ferocious battle for places, with overtakes at every turn. In the end, West crossed the finish line first, with Kubo 2nd, Yudhistira 3rd, and Izdihar 6th. Zaidi was 9th, Koyama 10th, and Hada 11th.
Md Zaqhwan Zaidi | Musashi Boon Siew Honda (5th / 9th)
“It was a really tough race for us. We could not catch the Kawasakis and Yamahas. I pushed hard at every turn to keep up with them, but I was not successful. I’m disappointed, but the next All Japan race at the Sugo circuit in Japan is coming up soon, which I will race at for the first time. I participated in the tests there, and I felt it is a difficult track to master, with all of its ups and downs. I will still do my best.”
Tomoyoshi Koyama | MuSASHi Boon Siew Honda (7th / 10th)
“My team staff had gone to the All Japan Road Racing tests so my bike’s setup was delayed by a day, but I think we managed to set up the bike in time for the race. I managed to assess the circumstances and chase the riders ahead in Race 1. Race 2 was frustrating, as I was fighting for the lead, but I could not pull ahead. I’ll put today behind me, and concentrate on the All Japan race. I didn’t manage to join the tests so I’ll just have to play it by ear, but I’ll do the best I can in the limited time I have.”
Taiga Hada | Idemitsu Honda Racing India by T.Pro Ten10 (12th / 11th)
“This year we have new team staff and the bike is not set up the way I want it, but today was a hard battle. If I try to keep up with the leaders, I risk crashing. If I crash, there’s no point, so I just had to persevere throughout the race. We’ll pursue every angle to find a solution by the next race. I’ll be back to my title-challenging self like last year, in the races to come.”
Rheza Danica Ahrens (Astra Honda Racing Team) took pole position. Andy Muhammad Fadly (Kawasaki) qualified 2nd, and Muklada Sarapuech (A.P. Honda Racing Thailand) was 3rd, completing the front row.
In Race 1, Ahrens took the holeshot to dominate the race. By the end of Lap 1, he was ahead of Sarapuech, Fadly, Anupab Sarmoon (Yamaha), Awhin Sanjaya (Astra Honda Racing Team), and Mario Suryo Aji (Astra Honda Racing Team). On Lap 2, Ahrens pulled ahead, increasing his lead to 2.789s. Sarapuech led the 6-way battle for 2nd.
Ahrens went on to set the fastest lap and pull away to a commanding lead. Sarapuech was 2nd. The battle for 3rd between Sanjaya, Fadly, Aji, Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi (A.P. Honda Racing Thailand) and Sarmoon, eventually engulfed Sarapuech, and with four riders further behind catching up, the battle for 2nd became a 10-way ordeal.
On Lap 6, Aji takes 2nd place ahead of Sarapuech, but only temporarily. But on the following lap, Aji once again is in front of Sarapuech at Turn 1. The battle for 2nd heated up, with the large group nearly colliding with each other in the chicane, into the final lap. Sarmoon lost time as he went off the track. Ahrens crossed the finish line first after a commanding race, ahead of Fadly who leads the battle for 2nd, but crashes at the chicane. Sarmoon emerges to finish 2nd, with Aji 3rd. Sanjaya was 4th, and Sarapuech 5th.
In Race 2, Fadly takes the holeshot, but is soon outmaneuvered by Ahrens. By the end of Lap 1, Ahrens, Reynaldo Chrisantho Ratukore (Yamaha), Sarmoon, Fadly and Sanjaya were strung together. In Lap 2, Sarapuech charges up to 2nd, leading the pack. Fadly moved up to 4th. By Lap 3, Ahrens’ lead was 6.088s which he increased with every lap. Sarapuech led the battle for 2nd. Fadly moved up to 3rd. Kaewsonthi improved his position to 5th within the battle for 2nd among 14 riders. On Lap 4, Kaewsonthi is 2nd, but relinquishes his position the following lap at Turn 1 to Sarapuech. Kaewsonthi runs into Sarapuech, taking them both off the track and out of contention. The race continues, with Ahrens leading and Aji 2nd, followed by Sanjaya and Ratukore. Fadly oves up to 3rd on Lap 6. The fight for 2nd is now a 8-way ordeal, which continues lap after lap. Ahrens completes his comfortable race, while Sanjaya, Fadly and Sarmoon battle for 2nd. Akito Narita (Team HIRO) catches them, and takes 3rd at the 130R. Narita cannot defend his position and is off the track at the chicane. Aji finishes 2nd, with Fadly 3rd. Narita crossed the finish line 5th.
Rheza Danica Ahrens | Astra Honda Racing Team (1st / 1st)
“I have raced at Suzuka in 2006 in the 4 hour endurance race, and last year in AP250, and to me it is a very difficult track. But I’m happy because I still managed to win both races. We didn’t change the bike setup between races, and I just concentrated on racing. Race 1 was good practice for Race 2. I thank the team for setting up a perfect bike, which allowed me to push hard from the start. We’ll try to keep this up!”
Mario Suryo Aji | Astra Honda Racing Team (3rd / 2nd)
“It was my first time at Suzuka. I didn’t do well in practice, and I rode after consulting my mechanics. So, I’m very glad to be on the podium in Race 1. I was aiming to win Race 2, but all I could do was defend my position, and could not catch the leader. I was still able to be on the podium in both races, and I’ll continue to work hard to win!”
Akito Narita | Team HIRO (11th / 5th)
“I’m very happy to race in the ARRC, which was one of my aims. Suzuka is a track I’m used to and like, so my aim was for a competitive race and a good finish. Bike setup went well from Day 1, but we had a nagging electrical issue, so I’m not happy with qualifying and Race 1 results. We found the cause after Race 1, so I could push hard in Race 2. I enjoyed the battle from the early stages of Race 2. I was in a position to challenge for the podium, so I pushed hard in the last two laps. I’m very disappointed because I was overtaken at the last chicane and missed out on the podium, but I did my best, so I have no regrets. I gained more than results in this race. I’m very grateful to the team manager Hiroki Ono, for always teaching me about riding and strategies. I was able to race here because of many sponsors. I’ll make the best of the experiences I’ve gained here in the All Japan series. Tnank you!”
Supersports 600cc - Race 1 Result
|1||Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman(Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing/Kawasaki)|
|2||Ahmad Yudhistira(Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing/Kawasaki)|
|3||Anthony West(Webike IKAZUCHI Racing/Yamaha)|
|4||Yuki Ito(YAMAHA Racing Team Asean/Yamaha)|
|5||Md Zaqhwan Zaidi(Musashi Boon Siew Honda/Honda)|
|6||Keminth Kubo(YAMAHA Racing Team Asean/Yamaha)|
|7||Tomoyoshi Koyama(Musashi Boon Siew Honda/Honda)|
|12||Taiga Hada(Idemitsu Honda Racing India by T.Pro/Honda)|
|13||Azroy Hakeem Anuar(Musashi Boon Siew Honda/Honda)|
|15||Passawit Thitivararak(A.P Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)|
|16||Keisuke Kurihara(A.P. Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)|
|RT||Andi Farid Izdihar(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)|
Supersports 600cc - Race 2 Result
|1||Anthony West(Webike IKAZUCHI Racing/Yamaha)|
|2||Keminth Kubo(YAMAHA Racing Team Asean/Yamaha)|
|3||Ahmad Yudhistira(Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing/Kawasaki)|
|4||Yuki Ito(YAMAHA Racing Team Asean/Yamaha)|
|5||Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman(Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing/Kawasaki)|
|6||Andi Farid Izdihar(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)|
|9||Md Zaqhwan Zaidi(Musashi Boon Siew Honda/Honda)|
|10||Tomoyoshi Koyama(Musashi Boon Siew Honda/Honda)|
|11||Taiga Hada(Idemitsu Honda Racing India by T.Pro/Honda)|
|14||Azroy Hakeem Anuar(Musashi Boon Siew Honda/Honda)|
|16||Passawit Thitivararak(A.P Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)|
|18||Keisuke Kurihara(A.P. Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)|
Asia Production 250cc - Race 1 Result
|1||Rheza Danica Ahrens(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)|
|2||Anupab Sarmoon(YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM/Yamaha)|
|3||Mario Suryo Aji(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)|
|4||Awhin Sanjaya(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)|
|5||Muklada Sarapuech(A.P. Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)|
|6||Reynaldo Chrisantho Ratu(ONEXOX TKKR Racing Team/Yamaha)|
|8||Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi(A.P. Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)|
|11||Akito Narita(Team HIRO/Honda)|
|20||Chiou Ke-Lung(United Oil M-Mate Racing/Honda)|
|22||Cao Viet Nam(Yuzy Honda Vietnam Racing Team/Honda)|
|23||Masaharu Ono(Team HIRO/Honda)|
|24||Anish Damodara Shetty(Idemitsu Honda Racing India by T.Pro Ten10/Honda)|
|25||Sethu Rajiv(Idemitsu Honda Racing India by T.Pro Ten10/Honda)|
|29||Yuta Kasai(Team TEC2/Honda)|
|RT||Kota Sunatomari(IDEA & Kurodaya/Honda)|
Asia Production 250cc - Race 2 Result
|1||Rheza Danica Ahrens(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)|
|2||Mario Suryo Aji(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)|
|3||Andy Muhammad Fadly(Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing/Kawasaki)|
|4||Ahmad Afif Amran(CKJ Yamaha Racing/Yamaha)|
|5||Akito Narita(Team HIRO/Honda)|
|6||Anupab Sarmoon(YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM/Yamaha)|
|8||Awhin Sanjaya(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)|
|17||Kota Sunatomari(IDEA & Kurodaya/Honda)|
|19||Masaharu Ono(Team HIRO/Honda)|
|20||Cao Viet Nam(Yuzy Honda Vietnam Racing Team/Honda)|
|22||Chiou Ke-Lung(United Oil M-Mate Racing/Honda)|
|24||Sethu Rajiv(Idemitsu Honda Racing India by T.Pro Ten10/Honda)|
|25||Anish Damodara Shetty(Idemitsu Honda Racing India by T.Pro Ten10/Honda)|
|27||Yuta Kasai(Team TEC2/Honda)|
|DNF||Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi(A.P. Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)|
|DNF||Muklada Sarapuech(A.P. Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)|