Asia Road Racing championship
Asia’s best motorcycle racers descend upon Chennai
Last month was a real treat when we got to witness top international racers battle it out across three classes as the fifth round of the asia road racing Championship (arrC) was held at Chennai’s mmrt circuit. top riders from Japan, malaysia, thailand, and Indonesia were in attendance with their teams, and spectators in the packed stands got to experience motorcycle racing at the international level. we knew we were in for a show when lap records started tumbling right from the first practice session on Friday as thai rider Decha Kraisart set a new record around the 3.717-kilometre circuit (1:41.305) astride his Yamaha r6 in the supersport 600 class. the other two classes that made up the event were the asia Production 250 cc and the Underbone 150 cc, and there were two races in each class. on to the races.
Supersport 600 RACE ONE
malaysian rider mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi started from P2, but soon pulled ahead of pole sitter Keminth Kubo from Japan and took an early lead in the 16-lap race. Pushing his honda CBr600rr to the limit, Zaidi managed to hang on to the lead, and claimed a much-deserved victory for the musashi Boon siew honda racing team. Behind Zaidi Keminth Kubo fell back, while two other Japanese riders, taiga hada and Yuki Ito, fought tooth and nail for the remaining two spots on the podium. at the finish line it was hada, aboard another CBr600rr and riding for team rama honda racing - by nts t.Pro ten10, who finished barely half a second ahead of Ito, who set the fastest lap of the race (1:41.701) aboard his Yamaha racing team r6. the sole Indian contender in this class, sarath Kumar, finished the race in 12th place aboard his CBr600rr.
sunday’s race saw Ito chasing Zaidi for most of the 14-lap race, just waiting for the leader to make a mistake. he saw his opportunity on the 12th lap, and squeezed past the malaysian rider to
lead the last two laps to the finish line. Zaidi crossed the line less than a second behind to secure second place and the lead in the championship standings, while taiga hada set the fastest lap of the race (1:40.990) but lost time early on in the race and had to settle for the last spot on the podium. sarath Kumar improved his lap time from the previous race, but finished the race in 13th position.
Asia Production 250 RACE ONE
saturday’s aP 250 race saw Japanese rider tomoyoshi Koyama and thai rider anupab sarmoon in a close battle throughout the 12-lapper. sarmoon, riding for the Yamaha thailand racing team, set the fastest lap of the race (1:49.724), but at the finish it was Koyama who took the victory for the rama honda team, barely a tenth of a second ahead of the thai rider. Indonesia’s Galang hendra Pratama was able to pull away from the rest of the pack to secure a comfortable third place for Yamaha racing Indonesia. the only Indian racer in the class, rajiv sethu, riding for rama honda, finished the race in 19th place.
Galang hendra Pratama once again set the fastest lap in sunday’s race (1:56.106) and this time he was able to hold on to his lead, crossing the line nine-tenths of a second ahead of Koyama and claiming victory for Yamaha racing Indonesia. It was clear that this lead pair were in a class of their own, constantly pulling away from the rest of the pack for the duration of the 10-lap race. In third place, for the supra studio honda Ikazuchi racing team, was Japanese rider takehiro Yamamoto, who crossed the line almost eight seconds behind Koyama. Unfortunately, Indian rider rajiv sethu did not finish sunday’s race following a crash on the fifth lap.
Underbone 150 RACE ONE
although these may look like humble scooters, the Underbone 150-cc class features highly tuned race-ready machines piloted by skilled riders setting blazing lap times. saturday’s 10-lap race was dominated by a trio of malaysian riders, with sCK rapido hi rev honda racing team’s Fakhrusy syakirin rostam finishing first, just ahead of Uma racing Yamaha maju motor’s mohd haziq mohd Fairuz. Yuzy honda Vietnam racing team’s azroy hakeem anuar set the fastest lap of the race (1:54.336) and finished in third place. this was a tightly-contested race, with the top five finishing within half a second of one another. Indian rider Prabhu arunagiri could not match the pace of the experienced malaysian riders and finished in 13th place.
sunday’s seven-lapper once again saw an all-malaysian podium. this time it was azroy hakeem anuar on the top step, followed by mohd akid aziz of Uma racing Yamaha maju motor who set the fastest lap of the race (1:53.944). mohd haziq mohd Fairuz rode a fantastic race once again, but had to be content with third place. again it was barely half a second that separated these three at the finish, making the Underbone class one of the most exciting to watch. Prabhu arunagiri was able to improve on his performance from the previous day and finished sunday’s race in ninth place.
Yuki Ito on his way to victory in Sunday’s SS 600 race
Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi won Saturday’s race
Indian rider Rajiv Sethu finished Saturday’s race in nineteenth place
Anuar on his way to victory in Sunday’s race
Tomoyoshi Koyama (71) leads from Galang Hendra Pratama (99) in the first AP 250 race