The Asia Superbike 1000cc race category went on a blistering start despite the minor hiccups of what is known as the season opener jitters. However, taking dominance and setting his target straight was Andi Farid Izdihar of Honda-Asia Dream Racing with Astemo who made quite an impression with a double-podium at Chang circuit.

What would it be like for him in Round 2 of the Idemitsu FIM Asia Road Racing Championship at Zhuhai Internation Circuit this weekend?

Well, it seems like Zhuhai circuit will not be a major problem for the Indonesia rider who took the fourth place in both races last season considering being only a debutante in the race category back then or will it?

For someone fresh in the game, he had quite the appetite for a bigger chunk of pie and he pulled out all the stops to reward himself with the second runner-up position at the end of the season.

Andi Farid reigned champion of the SuperSports 600cc race category in Season 2022 and is definitely playing his cards right this season in the ASB1000 with eyes on the prize.

Running for a second term, it is not just about learning and managing the machine but it also includes integrating strategies and aiming for an outcome worthy of applause.

Andi went straight for the kill in Race 2 when he grabbed the opportunity to strike his closest contender and that was an ability that comes with complete focus and anticipation of “what could possibly happen”, a quality that makes good sportsmanship. Andi went on to complete the remaining laps and bagged his first win for the season.

Commenting on the race, Andi said, “It was a great start for me this season but to be honest, I struggled quite a bit in Round from the very beginning. It was very difficult to find the right setting of the machine but we kept on trying. Finally, we manged to find the right setup and continued to work on it until I felt really good about it.

“In Race 1, I did exactly in the way I have targeted which is to push from the very beginning and it worked out really well. Unfortunately, the tyre wore out in the last 4-3 laps which gave Azlan to opportunity to catch up. In Race 2, I changed my strategies to make sure that I save up on the tyres. I followed the troop and waited for the right time to attack and it was a profound finish.”

“The machine is a completely different one and it definitely requires time to find the right settings. But once the settings are achieved, the outcome is nothing but positive. The machine is much lighter than the older version.

“While struggling, we have also been analysing the previous data from the very beginning and finally found the direction. Zhuhai is not my favourite circuit. Last season was very difficult for me but it is good to get back there and challenge myself further. I have to make the most from the race and be better off than the last time. I can’t wait to be there, frankly.”

On a team of three riders, Andi said, “It has been really good to have three riders in the team. We learn a lot together, progressively and we try to help each other improve. We share our thoughts about the machine and also the circuit.

“Different perspectives are good and important so that we see things from different lenses. When you have a strong teammate, it makes it easier to step up in the game. The entry list for this season is a tough one.

“Everyone is of high-calibre although each one of us have our own individual strengths and weaknesses. Somehow, that makes it even more interesting and it sparks the will to excel further. The target for me is to be on the podium this time around in Zhuhai. Last season, as I said was a struggle but I am fully motivated and energised to take the leap. So, keeping my fingers crossed!”

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