The Underbone 150cc race category, unique in its disposition has always been an eye-catchy series in the Idemitsu FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, complemented by robust riders awaiting their moment to seize the opportunity. Ahmad Afif Amran of Pitsbike OneWay JRT Tech2 Racing Team, making his entry for a full season is all prepared for the coming round at Zhuhai International Circuit this weekend.

It must have been tough for Afif to make a comeback for a full season considering his brief appearance last year in the last two rounds as a replacement rider. His struggles were quite apparent in Race 1 especially flagging off from the sixteenth spot on the grid. However, the rider of high calibre and competence was aware that it is not where it begins that matters but how he utilises his knowledge and experience to quickly adapt and strategize is what it takes to make a grand finish. In Race 2, the Malaysian rider picked up his pace swiftly and found his momentum before racing his way to the top.

Afif is fondly known among fans in the national championship for his competitive strides and his impressive manoeuvring style nevertheless, it is safe to say that the Asian domain comes with different expectations and demands which requires its riders to not only be tactical in their riding techniques but mindful of their opponents who are on par and eager to make their cut. It is also about recognising the risks and going right at it nevertheless, with the right techniques and mindset.

According to him, “The Asian domain is way different from the national level as it involves riders of various calibre, from different regions in Asia who have made the best cut in the national scenes. The experiences that each individual have are also different. I have gained a lot of knowledge and insights from my participation in ARRC which I have utilised to optimise my performance on the national front. So, I am truly grateful for the opportunity.”

Commenting on the race, Afif said, “First of all, I have to say that I am quite happy to take part in the UB150 race category this season. But I am quite aware of the challenges especially among the Indonesian riders who probably have clocked in better mileage over the years. Therefore, I have to be more prepared for the coming round. If we look at Race 1 in round 1, I was quite unlucky and my strategies didn’t quite work because I got caught up in an incident at the last turn. For Race 2, my team and I have discussed to take an early approach and thank God, that worked out.”

In terms of the machine, Afif went on to say, “If you ask me about the machine, it is not in an optimised condition as I am still trying to figure out the overall settings. My team is a new one and there are many more to work on when it comes to the machine. The Zhuhai circuit is a technical one therefore, getting the right setup is of utmost importance. There needs to be a well-planned strategy for the final lap. By God’s grace, my team and I will be able to fine tune and overcome whatever limitations we have on our machine. My aim is to finish in a good condition and collect as many points as possible. The target is to be at the top 3 position.”

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