ASB1000 defending champion, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, literally waited two whole years to kick off his title-defence campaign.

Now, with the season opener of the 2022 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship set to flag off at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand at the end of the month, Azlan can finally don his racing colours and get back on the track again.

“You could say that I unofficially became a 3-time ASB1000 champion. In 2019, 2020 and 2021!” Azlan joked.

But jokes aside, Azlan recalled the uncertainties and worry of those trying years when the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship was shackled due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“Of course, it was worrying. I wasn’t getting any younger,” said the 38-year-old Malaysian who races for the ONEXOX BMW TKKR Team. “I wondered if my career would end just like that. But I was heartened when I saw the motorsports industry in Asia working hard to get back in action. So I kept hope.”

However, Azlan had not been idle. “I had a stint as a professional commentator. Who knew that I turned out to be quite good at it. But my first love was always motorsports. Unable to race for myself, I turned my attention to establishing the AS25 Racing Academy in the hopes of helping more young riders thrive in the sport.

“I’m proud to say that our team, the AS25 Racing Academy Team, had just made their debut at Round 1 of the 2022 PETRONAS Malaysian Cub Prix Championship a few weeks ago.”

“On a personal note, I’m looking forward to getting the adrenaline going again. Can’t wait to getback in action. See you in Buriram!”

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