Round 01 Qatar

  • Zaidi Wins Race 2 in Brand New Class

    Md. Zaqhwan Zaidi., riding for Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA, won Race 2 in the brand new ASB1000 class, in Round 1 of the 2019 Asia Road Racing Championship in Malaysia.


ASB1000

Zaidi Wins Race 2 in Brand New Class

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia, March 9-10, 2019

Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA, a new team formed through Honda's Asian subsidiaries joining forces,  competes in ARRC's new ASB1000 class. Their ace rider is Md. Zaqhwan Zaidi. The team is led by former MotoGP rider Makoto Tamada, who has been working hard to spread motorsports in the Asia region. Both Zaidi and Tamada had been involved in the JSB1000 class in Japan last season, and since then have focused all their efforts to succeed in the brand new class.

ASB1000 Race1 Start

ASB1000 Race1 Start

Of the thirteen riders who went into Qualifying for the first ever ASB1000 race, Thitipong Warokorn (Kawasaki) took pole, with Zaidi third. Race 1 was a hot ordeal, with ambient temperature reaching 34 degrees Celsius, and the track reaching 61.8 degrees.

Warokorn was the fastest off the mark, with Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (BMW). A string of riders followed close behind. The start was hectic, with two riders already out before the first lap ended, but Warokorn kept his cool and the lead, while Kamaruzaman, Apiwat Wongthananon (Yamaha) and Zaidi tried to keep up.

The lead group of four were spread evenly for the first half of the race, but once they entered the latter stage, Warokorn and Kamaruzaman were caught by Wongthananon and Zaidi as they fought for third. Zaidi's bike got into trouble, taking him off the track. In the end, Kamaruzaman took the checkered flag, followed by Warokorn 2nd, and Broc Parkes (Yamaha) who charged through the field to take 3rd.

Although the heat kept up at around 30 degrees Celsius for Race 2, rain brought the track temperature down to 35 degrees. As the drenched race started, the fast-moving clouds made predictions all but meaningless. Zaidi took the holeshot. Riders had no option but to be cautious as torrential rain pounded the first half, while rain stopped for the second. The race continued despite riders being unable to keep upright due to the rain.

In the mayhem, Kamaruzaman took the lead from Zaidi, and built a large gap. The chasing group consisted of Yuki Ito (Yamaha), Warokorn and Zaidi, when on Lap 6, Kamaruzaman fell, handing the lead to Ito. Zaidi pulled away from the chasing group in pursuit of Ito, closing in on Ito in the late stages. With three laps remaining, Zaidi was right behind Ito, and one lap later, was in the lead. He then pulled away from Ito, while Warokorn moved up to 2nd. Zaidi's gap was more than 3 seconds into the final lap, which he kept until the end. Warokorn finished 2nd, Ito 3rd. For Zaidi, his win in front of the home crowd was especially sweet.

Comments

Md Zaqhwan Zaidi | Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA (DNF / 1st)

“In Race 1 I started well, my lap times were improving and I was aiming for a good finish, but something suddenly happened to the bike. I put that behind me for Race 2, aiming for the podium. The conditions were terrible, but I managed to win, which made be happy and really excited. We just started our challenge in the brand new class, but we managed to win, undoubtedly thanks to the great work our team put in. It's been a while since I've finished on the podium, to I'm really happy. Thank you to Honda, our sponsors, and all of our supporters. I'll do my best in the next race as well.”

Makoto Tamada | Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA Team Manager

“We had a good feel during the tests, and we made even more improvements going into Race 1, but we had problems. I'm so sorry, as it was a very important race for Honda and all of our sponsors. I'm so sorry for Zaidi as well, as he did his best and nearly caught the lead group. We fixed the problem, and went into Race 2, and managed to win. My gratitude goes to Honda, SHOWA, and all our sponsors. Now, the battle begins in earnest, and we'll be fighting to win the title.”


SS600

Izdihar 2nd in Race 2

Rules for the SS600 class of the ARRC had been changed, in part to position the class as a step before the new ASB1000: A new age limit was introduced, and riders could no longer compete for three years in the class. This brought new blood into SS600 racing. Musashi Boon Siew Honda Racing Team, who had raced with Japanese riders and won the championship many times, would be represented by Azroy Hakeem Anuar, ranked 13th last year, and Md. Helmi Azman, UB150 class champion. Azman's bike got the coveted No. 634 (pronounced Mu-sa-shi in Japanese).

Andi Farid Izdihar (#27),  Md. Helmi Azman (#634)

Andi Farid Izdihar (#27),  Md. Helmi Azman (#634)

Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi and Passawit Thitivararak race for A.P. Honda Racing Thailand this season, while Astra Honda Racing Team have Rheza Danica Ahrens and Andi Farid Izdihar for their squad. Ahrens is last year's AP250 champion, moving up into the SS600 class this season.

In Race 1, Azman was contesting the lead by the end of the first straight, starting from 8th. At this stage six riders were fighting to get ahead. Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin was 2nd, while Izdihar and Azman battled for 3rd. In the heat of the chase, Izdihar lost control and was out of the race, leaving Azman in 4th, chasing the two Yamahas in the lead, while Anuar was closing in from behind. Boonlert, who made his move in the final three laps, was the winner. Anuar, battling with his teammate for 4th, finished 0.087s ahead of Azman.

In Race 2, Muhamad Adam Mohd. Norrodin (Yamaha) was fastest off the mark and led the race, but went off the track, giving the lead to Peerapong Boonlert, another Yamaha rider. Kasmayudin, Azman and Izdihar were in a battle with each other while chasing the leader. Izdihar emerged 2nd as Norrodin made a comeback to fifth, charging since his fall earlier on. Boonlert kept ahead to take the double win, and Izdihar joined him on the podium in 2nd place. Azman crossed the finish line further back in 5th.

Comments

Andi Farid Izdihar | ASTRA HONDA Racing Team (DNF / 2nd)

“I couldn't finish Race 1 because I crashed, but I'm happy because I was on the podium, 2nd in Race 2. I'm grateful to my team, my sponsors, and my family and friends.”


AP250

Honda Dominates Season Opener with Hendriansya Winning Race 1, Sarapuech Race 2

In the AP250 class, title-contender Muklada Sarapuech, Tatchakorn Buarsi and Piyawat Patoomyos will race for A.P.Honda Racing Thailand. Astra Honda Racing Team will be represented by Lucky Hendriansya, Irfan Ardiansyah and Awhin Sanjaya. In his second year in the class, Cao Viet Nam aims for the title with Honda Racing Vietnam. Senthil Kumar C. and Rajiv Sethu will race for Idemitsu Honda Racing India, giving Honda nine contenders on CBR250RRs for the championship.

Lucky Hendriansya (C), Irfan Ardiansyah (R)

Lucky Hendriansya (C), Irfan Ardiansyah (R)

Although Sarapuech took pole position, Ardiansyah was in command in the early stages of Race 1. Hendriansya, Sarapuech and Sanjaya chased. On Lap 2, Hendriansya took the lead, with Sarapuech and Andy Muhammad Fadly (Kawasaki) formed the lead group. As Hendriansya and Fadly pulled ahead, Sarapuech was on his own, ahead of Sanjaya and Ardiansyah.

As the battle for the lead intensified towards the end, Hendriansya got ahead of Fadly, but the Kawasaki rider pulled Hendriansya back in, and on the final turn, made his move. Despite losing balance, Hendriansya managed to pull out of the turn ahead to win the season opener. An intense battle for 3rd raged on to the end, with Hendriansya ahead by a fraction. Sanjaya, behind, finished 4th.

Race 2 started with Sarapuech in command. Despite a pile-up at the first turn, the race continued. Sarapuech, Ardiansyah, Fadly and Sanjaya formed the lead group. Sanjaya fell behind, narrowing the contest to three. With each turn, the lead was a fluid ordeal between Sarapuech and Fadly. On entering the final lap Sarapuech was in the lead, but Fadly was breathing down his neck, and Ardiansyah was not far behind. With less than a lap to go, Ardiansyah crashed. Fadly inched ahead at the final turn, but Sarapuech refused to concede, nearly colliding with Fadly as they crossed the finish line side by side. Sarapuech was victorious, with Fadly 2nd and Sanjaya 3rd.

Comments

Lucky Hendriansya | ASTRA HONDA Racing Team (1st / 11th)

“It was a tough race. I made a mistake at the start, and another mistake after I took the lead, so I was in a close battle, but I kept on pushing, and finally I managed to win the season opening race. I'm very happy.”

Muklada Sarapuech | A.P. HONDA Racing Thailand (DNF / 1st)

“I had problems in Race 1 and could not finish, so I was determined to fight to the end in Race 2. Fadly was in front of me at the final turn, so I didn't know if I could win, but I kept on fighting to the end. That gave me the win, which is fantastic.”

Irfan Ardiansyah | ASTRA HONDA Racing Team (3rd / DNF)

“I wanted to be up with the leaders, but I'm glad I won the battle for 3rd. I'm happy everyone who supports me could see me on the podium.”

Awhin Sanjaya | ASTRA HONDA Racing Team (4th / 3rd)

“I'm really glad to finish on the podium. Thank you!”


Results

Asian Superbikes 1000cc - Race 1 Result

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Racing Team/BMW)
2 Thitipong Warokorn (KAWASAKI Thailand Racing Team/Kawasaki)
3 Broc Parkes (YAMAHA Racing Team ASEAN/Yamaha)
4 Ahmad Yudhistira (VICTOR RACING TEAM/Yamaha)
5 Apiwath Wongthananon (YAMAHA Thailand Racing Team/Yamaha)
6 Farid Badrul Hisham (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Racing Team/BMW)
RT Md Zaqhwan Zaidi (Honda Asia-Dream Racing With SHOWA/Honda)

Asian Superbikes 1000cc - Race 2 Result

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Md Zaqhwan Zaidi (Honda Asia-Dream Racing With SHOWA/Honda)
2 Thitipong Warokorn (KAWASAKI Thailand Racing Team/Kawasaki)
3 Yuki Ito (YAMAHA Racing Team ASEAN/YAMAHA)
4 Apiwath Wongthananon (YAMAHA Thailand Racing Team/Yamaha)
5 Broc Parkes (YAMAHA Racing Team ASEAN/Yamaha)
6 Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto (Access Plus Racing DUCATI Philippines Essenza Team/Ducati)

Supersports 600cc - Race 1 Result

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Peerapong Boonlert (YAMAHA Thailand Racing Team/Yamaha)
2 Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin (Hong Leong YAMAHA Malaysia/Yamaha)
3 Muhamad Adam Mohd. Norrodin (SIC Junior ZK Racing/Yamaha)
4 Azroy Hakeem bin Anuar (Musashi Boon Siew Honda Racing Team/Honda)
5 Helmi bin Azman (Musashi Boon Siew Honda Racing Team/Honda)
6 Md. Ramdan Rosli (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Racing Team/Yamaha)
7 Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi (A.P.Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)
8 Rheza Danica Ahrens (Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)
RT Andi Farid Izdihar (Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)
RT Troy Jacob Cua Alberto (Yuzy Honda Racing Team/Honda)
RT Passawit Thitivararak (A.P.Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)

Supersports 600cc - Race 2 Result

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Peerapong Boonlert (YAMAHA Thailand Racing Team/Yamaha)
2 Andi Farid Izdihar (Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)
3 Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin (Hong Leong YAMAHA Malaysia/Yamaha)
4 Muhamad Adam Mohd. Norrodin (SIC Junior ZK Racing/Yamaha)
5 Helmi bin Azman (Musashi Boon Siew Honda Racing Team/Honda)
6 Md Ramdan Rosli (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Racing Team/Yamaha)
7 Azroy Hakeem bin Anuar (Musashi Boon Siew Honda Racing Team/Honda)
8 Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi (A.P.Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)
9 Passawit Thitivararak (A.P.Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)
10 Rheza Danica Ahrens (Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)
RT Troy Jacob Cua Alberto (Yuzy Honda Racing Team/Honda)

Asia Production 250cc - Race 1 Result

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Lucky Hendriansya (ASTRA HONDA Racing Team/Honda)
2 Andy Muhammad Fadly (Manual Tech KYT KAWASAKI Racing/Kawasaki)
3 Irfan Ardiansyah (ASTRA HONDA Racing Team/Honda)
4 Awhin Sanjaya (ASTRA HONDA Racing Team/Honda)
5 Muhammad Faerozi Toreqottullah (YAMAHA Racing Indonesia/Yamaha)
6 Aiki Iyoshi (Manual Tech KYT KAWASAKI Racing/Kawasaki)
9 Rafid Topan Sucipto (Bike Corner SYS KYT Racing Team/Honda)
11 Sethu Rajiv (Idemitsu HONDA Racing India/Honda)
12 Cao Viet Nam (HONDA Racing Vietnam/Honda)
14 Senthil Chandrasekaran (Idemitsu HONDA Racing India/Honda)
15 Chiou Ke-Lung (United Oil Y-Teq Liberty Racing/Honda)
16 Shahrol Syazras Shahrol Yuzy (Yuzy HONDA Racing/Honda)
RT Muklada Sarapuech (A.P. Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)

Asia Production 250cc - Race 2 Result

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Muklada Sarapuech (A.P. Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)
2 Andy Muhammad Fadly (Manual Tech KYT KAWASAKI Racing/Kawasaki)
3 Awhin Sanjaya (ASTRA HONDA Racing Team/Honda)
4 Aiki Iyoshi (Manual Tech KYT KAWASAKI Racing/Kawasaki)
5 Muhammad Faerozi Toreqottullah (YAMAHA Racing Indonesia/Yamaha)
6 Md Muzakkir Mohamed (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Racing Team/Yamaha)
10 Cao Viet Nam (HONDA Racing Vietnam/Honda)
11 Lucky Hendriansya (ASTRA HONDA Racing Team/Honda)
13 Sethu Rajiv (Idemitsu HONDA Racing India/Honda)
14 Shahrol Syazras Shahrol Yuzy (Yuzy HONDA Racing/Honda)
RT Senthil Chandrasekaran (Idemitsu HONDA Racing India/Honda)
RT Chiou Ke-Lung (United Oil Y-Teq Liberty Racing/Honda)
RT Irfan Ardiansyah (ASTRA HONDA Racing Team/Honda)
RT Rafid Topan Sucipto (Bike Corner SYS KYT Racing Team/Honda)

Photos