ZAQHWAN FLYING HIGH IN INDONESIA
Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi cast the usual suspects into the shade as the Honda-man blazed to the top of the SuperSports 600cc time sheets in the Indonesian PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship on Friday.
Held at the Sentul International Circuit, the Musashi Boon Siew Honda Racing rider outwitted dominant teammate, Mohd Zamri Baba in the final five minutes of the afternoon session (FP2), clocking in 1’30.224s to effectively erase Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman’s 1’30.383s lap record from last year.
Zamri settled for second best with 1’30.348s followed by BEET Kawasaki Racing’s Katsuaki Fujiwara third in 1’30.760s while Makoto Tamada and Indonesian, Dimas Ekky Pratama rounded up the top five with 1’30.793s and 1’30.810s respectively.
“Frankly, I don’t know how I could beat Zamri’s time because he was exceptionally fast throughout the practice sessions. This is the first time I came in fastest since joining the Supersports 600cc category in 2011. It's overwhelming,” said Zaqhwan.
He went on to reflect on his performance today and said, “Based on the data we acquired, it all came down to the tyres. We went out on medium compound in FP1 and switched to the soft compound in FP2. It helped improve my lap time significantly but it is highly unlikely we can use it for the race as the surface here is quite rough, causing the tyres to deteriorate faster than usual. We will only use the soft compound to get a good start position in the qualifying tomorrow."
GUPITA STORMS TO TOP OF 130 TIMESHEETS
Local rider, Gupita Kresna of Kawasaki KYT Rextor Manual Tech stormed to the top of the Underbone 130cc timesheets during the first day of free practices for Round 2 of the 2014 PETRONAS FIM Asia Road Racing Championship held at the Sentul International Circuit in Indonesia from June 13 to 15, 2014.
Gupita set the new 130 benchmark at the Sentul track with a time of 1'53.632s followed by Indonesia's current top IndoPrix 130 rider Hendriansyah who clocked 1'54.655s. Hendriansyah has entered as a wildcard but as per most Underbone races in Indonesia and Malaysia, even the wildcards stand a chance to get to the top of the podium. Championship leader Ahmad Fazli Sham checked in third fastest with 1'55.019s, 1.023 seconds adrift of Gupita.
Rounding up the top five was defending champion, Hadi Wijaya and Wahyu Aji Trilaksana with 1’55.432s and 1’55.995s respectively.
Last year’s Underbone double winner, Norizman Ismail could only afford to come in 10th fastest, struggling with an injury from a training incident last weekend.
BEAT ONO'S TIME: ADC RIDERS INSTRUCTED
The young riders in the 2014 edition of the Asia Dream Cup have been given clear instructions as the scholarship class moves along with the 2014 PETRONAS FIM Asia Road Racing Championship to Round 2 at the Sentul International Circuit on June 13 to 15, 2014. With a fresh new batch of riders in the class this season, the target for each of them would be to beat Hiroki Ono's laptimes at the same circuit.
"It would be pointless if this new batch were to just fight it out against each other without the laptimes improving. It is only when we see them breaking Ono's lap record that we will know that we have another potential world rider on our hands," said Asia Dream Cup trainer and former GP rider Shinya Nakano.
With the instructors' orders firmly in place, Malaysian rider Khairul Idham Pawi came closest to hitting the target when he clocked fastest with 1'53.119s, 0.098 seconds off the target pace. The Japanese duo who had recently won the Suzuka 2-hr Endurance on June 8, Reitoku Kurogi and Teppei Nagoe were second and third fastest respectively with times of 1'53.532s and 1'54.417s.