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2017 Asia Road Racing Championship

Round 06: Buriram – Thailand

  • Overview
  • Race Results
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Thailand
Thailand
December 3, 2017
 

Md Zaqhwan Zaidi Runner-up with 10th/7th at Title-deciding Final Round

The sixth and final round of the 2017 Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) was contended at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand. Going into the title-deciding final round, Md Zaqhwan Zaidi (MuSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing) led the title race with 138 points, while Yuki Ito (Yamaha) and Taiga Hada (RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten 10.) both 4 points adrift, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (Kawasaki) trailing by 10 points, and Ahmad Yudhistira (Kawasaki) 28 points behind, were still in contention. The double-header would award the winner 25 points, the runner-up with 20 points, and third place would gin 16 points.

Md Zaqhwan Zaidizoom
Md Zaqhwan Zaidi
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Taiga Hada

Thailand had entered in dry season, and although the dawns and dusks were pleasant, the days were sunny and hot. For the final round, free practice normally beginning on a Friday was extended back to Thursday, giving the riders and teams more time to tweak their skills and bikes. Pole position went to Apiwat Wongthananon (Yamaha), while Zaidi’s fastest time was dis-counted due to a penalty from taking a shortcut to pit. His second best time placed him 8th on the grid. Behind him was Ratthapong Wilairot (A.P.Honda Racing Thailand) was 9th, Hada 10th, and Teppei Nagoe (MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing) 11th. Further back, Tatsuya Yamaguchi (A.P.Honda Racing Thailand) would start the race 13th, while Sena Yamada (RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten 10.) was 16th on the grid.

Race 1 was contested in strong winds. Kamaruzaman was fast off the mark to take the holeshot, and leading the first lap. Wongthananon was a close 2nd, chased by Chalermpol Polamai (Yamaha) and Titipong Warokorn (Kawasaki).

On Lap 2 Wongthananon takes the lead, closely followed by Kamaruzaman, Polamai, Warokorn and Anthony West (Yamaha). In the chasing group Ito, Decha Kraisart (Yamaha), Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha), Hada, Yudhistira, Zaidi and Wilairot fought for 6th place. Kraisart would eventually pull ahead to leave Haga, Ito, Hada, Yudhistira, Zaidi and Wilairot to battle for 7th.

In the closing stages, the battle for the lead intensified, with no one rider keeping the top spot for long. The chasing group was closing in, similarly without a clear leader. Warokorn manages to pull ahead, but Wongthananon, Polamai and Kamaruzaman refuse to give up. On the last turn on the last lap, Wongthananon emerged the victor, with West 2nd and Warokorn 3rd. Of the Honda riders, Wilairot was 8th, Hada 9th, and Zaidi 10th. Yamada finished 13th and Yamaguchi 14th, while Nagoe did not finish due to a crash.

At this stage Zaidi still led the championship by 3 points to Hada, 5 points to Kamaruzaman, and 10 points to Ito who had crashed and retired on Lap 14.

In Race 2, Wongthananon was quick off the mark, chased by Polamai, Kamaruzaman and Warokorn. From the early stages, Wongthananon pulls away, building a 1 second buffer to Polamai. The top three riders are relatively spaced apart for a while, until West catches Kamaruzaman to vie for 3rd, being joined by Warokorn and Ito.

Wongthananon emerged the eventual winner. West finished 2nd and Kamaruzaman 3rd. Zaidi was 7th, and Hada 8th. Further back Nagoe finished 13th, Yamada 14th and Yamaguchi 15th.

Kamaruzaman increased his total to 155 points, to take the championship, while Zaidi was 2nd with 153 points, and Hada 3rd with 149 points. Nagoe finished the season 11th, with Yagaguchi 12th, and Yamada 13th.

Taiga Hada: RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten 10.
SS600 Race Results: 9th / 8th
“This round was important, as it would determine the championship. I did everything I could imagine in Japan. I trained harder than usual, so I was relaxed, and went into the race as usual. Even riders out of contention were fast this race, but my only goal was to ride as best I could. We fine-tuned the bike through a lot of trial and error. I’ve done all that I could, so I have no regrets. I’m not happy, but I’m grateful that I could fight for the championship, thanks to the team.”
Teppei Nagoe: MuSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing
SS600 Race Results: DNF / 13th
“I wasn’t happy with the front end, and we tried to fix it all week. I did not know how hard I could push, and was worried about the lack of feel in the front. I learned the characteristics of Bridgestone tires in Japan, and Dunlop in Asia, so we set up the bike accordingly and had good pace, but I had a solo crash in Race 1. For Race 2 we went back to the Qualifying set that was going well but I was not 100% on it, and couldn’t ride as I had wanted to. This season has given me a lot of experience, and although I’m not happy I couldn’t convert them to results, they will be invaluable in the future. Thank you.”
Sena Yamada: RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten 10.
SS600 Race Results: 13th / 14th
“I was improving my lap times in the morning session before the race, so I was aiming for the best results of the season, but my position on the starting grid was too low for me to make any real headway. I did my best to ride according to the track conditions and the bike, but I was unable to gain as many places as I had wanted. Still, I now understand the ARRC bikes and races, and learned to ride with my own style, so it’s a pity that the season is over. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to race for a whole year.”
Tatsuya Yamaguchi: A.P.Honda Racing Thailand
SS600 Race Results: 14th / 15th
“I was able to race in the ARRC thanks to A.P.Honda Racing Thailand and Mr. Moriwaki. My aim was to show the team how I approached races and help improve the mechanics’ skills, but had problems all year with racing a stock bike on slick tires. I searched for ways to overcome this difficult balance to finish high up, and although I didn’t get good results, I hope I managed to give the mechanics and the team something worthwhile. This year was a major year for me in terms of gaining experience. I’m thankful for this opportunity.”

Salim Takes the Title in Race 1, Koyama Wins Race 2

Gerry Salimzoom
Gerry Salim
Rheza Danica Ahrenszoom
Rheza Danica Ahrens

Going into the final round of the Asia Production 250cc class, Gerry Salim (Astra Honda Racing Team) led the championship with 186 points total. Being 38 points ahead of Anupab Sarmoon (Yamaha), the chance of clinching the championship in Race 1 was high. Sarmoon won pole, and Salim qualified 3rd, behind female rider Muklada Sarapuech (A.P.Honda Racing Thailand). Tomoyoshi Koyama (RAMA Honda) was 6th on the grid, while the inaugural champion Takehiro Yamamoto (Supra Studio Honda Ikazuchi Racing Team) was 21st after being caught up in a crash. Kenta Fujii, after winning the All Japan JP250 class, also made an appearance, qualifying 20th.

In the warm-up preceding the race, Yamamoto crashed. Although uninjured, his bike was severely damaged, and could not be repaired in time for Race 1.

In Race 1, Sarmoon took the holeshot, followed by Koyama, with Sarapuech 3rd. The race soon developed into a battle between Sarmoon and Koyama, with Rheza Danica Ahrens (Astra Honda Racing Team) moving up to 3rd. Sarapuech leads the fight for 4th, now contested between 8 riders.

In the closing stages, Koyama takes the lead and tries to pull away, but is overtaken by Ahrens. Sarmoon, running 3rd, manages to temporarily take the lead in the final lap, but Ahrens emerges victorious, leading Sarmoon and Koyama across the finish line. Salim finishes 4th, but his solid points lead gives him the AP250 class championship. Fujii finished the race in 23rd place.

Koyama dominates the opening lap in Race 2, which soon developed in to a fight for dominance with Sarmoon. The chasing group of 16 riders battle for 3rd place, no one the obvious favorite.

Mid-race, Vorapong Malahuan (A.P.Honda Racing Thailand) emerges as 3rd place runner, while the battle for the lead is still contested between Koyama and Sarmoon. Sarapuech and Salim pull away in the late stages to contest 3rd place.

The fight for the lead continues into the final turn, Sarmoon diving into the inside of Koyama, crossing lines. Using Sarmoon’s slipstream, Koyama slingshots ahead to win the final race of the season. Sarmoon finishes 2nd, with Salim 3rd. Yamamoto crossed the finish line 14th, Fujii 22nd.

The championship went to Salim, with Koyama 2nd and Yamamoto 5th.

Gerry Salim: Astra Honda Racing Team
AP250 Race Results: 4th / 3rd / Champion
“I concentrated on securing the championship in Race 1. I was able to keep on winning in the first half of the season, but had many hard races later on, so I was trying to clinch the championship, but couldn’t until the final round. Still, I’m glad I won the championship, and I’m very happy. I went into Race 2 without the pressure of the championship. I didn’t win, but I won the battle for 3rd, so I could enjoy being on the podium to tell everyone I won the championship.”
Tomoyoshi Koyama: RAMA Honda
AP250 Race Results: 3rd / 1st
“I finished Race 1 3rd, so I worked on how to approach Race 2. I was going to do what I couldn’t in Race 1. I had to be in 2nd place at the last turn, so I had to have one rider in front. Everything went to plan into the last lap, and I crossed Sarmoon’s line out of the final turn, and won according to plan. It was a snap decision for me to race this season, and I had to prepare as the rounds progressed, so I’m glad I finished with a win. Thank you for supporting me all year.”
Takehiro Yamamoto: Supra Studio Honda Ikazuchi Racing Team
AP250 Race Results: DNS / 14th
“The season began on a different bike, so I couldn’t prepare as well as I wanted to. I think my results weren’t good because we didn’t have the bike in Japan, and we couldn’t try different setups or develop it. The final round was different though. We had time for preparation, and the weekend started well, but I fell because of a reckless rider behind me in Qualifying. He came to apologize later, but this put my rhythm off, and we had problems in the pre-race warmup and I crashed. The bike was seriously damaged so we had to miss Race 1. The team rebuilt the bike in time for Race 2, but I couldn’t race as well as I could have.”

2017 Asia Road Racing Championship
Round 06: Buriram – Thailand

Supersports 600cc - Race 1 Result
Rank Rider (Team)
1Apiwat Wongthananon(Yamaha Thailand Racing TEAM/Yamaha)
2 Anthony West(Akeno Speed Racing/Yamaha)
3Thitipong Warokorn(Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team/Kawasaki)
4Chalermpol Polamai(Yamaha Thailand Racing Team/Yamaha)
5Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman(Manual Tech Kawasaki Racing/Kawasaki)
6Decha Kraisart(Yamaha Thailand Racing Team/Yamaha)
8Ratthapong Wilairot(A.P.Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)
9Taiga Hada(RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten 10./Honda)
10Md Zaqhwan Zaidi(MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing/Honda)
13Sena Yamada(RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten 10./Honda)
14Tatsuya Yamaguchi(A.P.Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)
15Irfan Ardiansyah(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)
16Passawit Thitivararak(THRC THAI Honda Racing Club/Honda)
17Broc Pearson(RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten 10./Honda)
18Shankar Sarath Kumar(RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten 10./Honda)
DNFTeppei Nagoe(MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing/Honda)
Supersports 600cc - Race 2 Result
Rank Rider (Team)
1Apiwat Wongthananon(Yamaha Thailand Racing TEAM/Yamaha)
2 Anthony West(Akeno Speed Racing/Yamaha)
3Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman(Manual Tech Kawasaki Racing/Kawasaki)
4Chalermpol Polamai(Yamaha Thailand Racing Team/Yamaha)
5Thitipong Warokorn(Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team/Kawasaki)
6Decha Kraisart(Yamaha Thailand Racing Team/Yamaha)
7Md Zaqhwan Zaidi(MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing/Honda)
8Taiga Hada(RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten 10./Honda)
11Ratthapong Wilairot(A.P.Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)
13Teppei Nagoe(MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing/Honda)
14Sena Yamada(RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten 10./Honda)
15Tatsuya Yamaguchi(A.P.Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)
17Broc Pearson(RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten 10./Honda)
18Shankar Sarath Kumar(RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten 10./Honda)
19Passawit Thitivararak(THRC THAI Honda Racing Club/Honda)
20Irfan Ardiansyah(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)
Asia Production 250cc - Race 1 Result
Rank Rider (Team)
1Rheza Danica Ahrens(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)
2Anupab Sarmoon(YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM/Yamaha)
3Tomoyoshi Koyama(RAMA Honda/Honda)
4Gerry Salim(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)
5Vorapong Malahuan(A.P.Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)
6Peerapong Luiboonpeng(YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM/Yamaha)
8Muklada Sarapuech(A.P.Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)
9Awhin Sanjaya(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)
22Sethu Rajiv(RAMA Honda/Honda)
23 Kenta Fujii(RAMA Honda/Honda)
25Bui Duy Thong(Yuzy Honda Vietnam Racing Team/Honda)
DNSTakehiro Yamamoto(Supra Studio Honda Ikazuchi Racing Team/Honda)
Asia Production 250cc - Race 2 Result
Rank Rider (Team)
1Tomoyoshi Koyama(RAMA Honda/Honda)
2Anupab Sarmoon(YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM/Yamaha)
3Gerry Salim(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)
4Peerapong Luiboonpeng(YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM/Yamaha)
5Peerapong Boonlert(YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM/Yamaha)
6Vorapong Malahuan(A.P.Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)
7Awhin Sanjaya(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)
8Muklada Sarapuech(A.P.Honda Racing Thailand/Honda)
14Takehiro Yamamoto(Supra Studio Honda Ikazuchi Racing Team/Honda)
22Kenta Fujii(RAMA Honda/Honda)
26Bui Duy Thong(Yuzy Honda Vietnam Racing Team/Honda)
DNFSethu Rajiv(RAMA Honda/Honda)
DNSRheza Danica Ahrens(Astra Honda Racing Team/Honda)

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