Nov 22, 2013
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by PETRONAS FIM Asia Road Racing Championship
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Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman at Losail. Photo courtesy Asia Road Racing Championship
AZLAN BREAKS KIYO'S RECORD
Only two free practice sessions into the season finale of the 2013 PETRONAS FIM Asia Road Racing Championship at the Losail International Circuit, and championship leader Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman has broken the lap record set by his former team mate Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Azlan clocked 02:05.701s during the second free practice session, effectively erasing Kiyonari's previous time of 02:05.881s. Katsuaki Fujiwara clocked second fastest with 02:06.065s while wildcard rider Broc Parkes quickly made his presence known with the third fastest time of the class, 02:06.166s.
"Frankly, I was shocked at my lap time because I felt like I was still getting back into the SuperSports 600cc groove after spending months trying to wrap my riding style around the Moto2 machine," said Azlan.
Still within the top five, PETRONAS Hong Leong Yamaha duo Mohd Zamri Baba and Yuki Ito posted fourth and fifth fastest with times of 02:06.430s and 02:06.839s respectively.
Indonesian rider M. Fadli, Thai rider Ratthapong Wilairot, HA Yudhistira, Tomoyoshi Koyama and Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi wrapped up the top ten for the first day of practice sessions.
GUPITA GUNNING FOR THE TOP AT LOSAIL
Indonesian Kawasaki rider Gupita Kresna Wardhana checked in as the fastest Underbone 115cc rider during the first day of free practices in the season finale of the 2013 PETRONAS FIM Asia Road Racing Championship held at the Losail International Circuit, Qatar, on November 21, 2013.
During the second free practice, the Kawasaki KYT Rextor Manual Tech rider stopped the clock at 2:37.173s. Gupita gained the provisional pole in the combined practice results from the first day followed by championship leader Hadi Wijaya second fastest with 2:37.280s and Malaysian Md Amirul Ariff Musa third with 2:37.476. However, the Underbone riders are still about 1.5 seconds away from breaking Gupita's 2012 lap record of 2:35.634s.
Gupita's ability to post fast laps around the 5.380km Losail circuit had been evident since 2012. However, in the previous season, Gupita had not been able to convert those flying laps into podium finishes.
"Last year, everything went well for the team until Race Night when we faced engine problems at the worst possible moment. Certainly it is a memory that we are hoping to erase this season. So far, everything looks good and we have no plans of making any more major changes to the machine set up," said Gupita.
Hadi Wijaya's team mate Ferlando Herdian was fourth fastest with 2:38.635s. Meanwhile, team Motul Yamaha YY Pang is beginning to gain more prominence in the Underbone 115cc class as Md Azhar Abd Jalil posted fifth fastest with 2:39.020s.
Team Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing trio Norizman Ismail, Kazuki Masaki and Mohd Affendi Rosli, together with Faito Factory Racing's Mohd Hafieenaz Mohd Ali and Thai rider Vorapong Malahuan also made it into the top ten during the first day of free practices.
ONO LEADS THE PACK
At the Losail International Circuit for the final leg of the 2013 PETRONAS FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, there were no surprises in the Asia Dream Cup category as 2013 Champion Hiroki Ono led the field during the first practice session, clocking fastest with the time of 02:33.831s.
With the title sealed up by Ono in the penultimate round at Autopolis, the focus now switches to the race between Indonesian Gerry Salim and Malaysian Md Fitri Ashraf Razali for the position of first runner-up.
Fitri clocked third fastest in the first day with a time of 02:33.968, only 0.007 seconds off the pace of second fastest rider Nakarin Atiratphuvapat. Gerry, who sustained injuries to his foot caused by an accident during a game of football (soccer), posted seventh fastest with 02:36.644s.
Ahead of Gerry, Muklada Sarapuech and the ADC's youngest rider Khairul Idham Pawi checked in fourth and fifth fastest respectively.