The FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC), Round 5 hit it off today at the Zhuhai International Circuit (ZIC) on a 4.304km track and observed remarkable action scenes from all classes in the free practice sessions.
The challenge on the circuit was further accentuated with 14 turns; 10 to the right and 4 to the left which makes up for an interesting feat.
Taking their moves to the next level and steadfast in their commitment to achieve their goals, the riders of the Asia Superbike 1000cc once again got their hands dirty on the scenes of Round 5, FIM Asia Road Racing Championship beginning with the free practice sessions at the Zhuhai International Circuit.
Making the fastest cut for the day in the sessions combined was Markus Reiterberger of ONEXOX BMW TKKR Team.
It was an excellent morning as the riders went on their first FP session. Zaqhwan of Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA made the fastest lap time at 1’34:028s. Markus of ONEXOX BMW TKKR Team clocked in second fastest at 1’34:289 followed by Kasma Daniel of YAMAHA GEN BLU Racing Team ASEAN with his best lap time at 1’34:571s.
During the FP2, Markus geared up and hit the fastest lap time with his best at 1’33:880s. Zaqhwan on the other hand made it second fastest with his best at 1’34:387s. His teammate Andi Farid made some improvements and scored the third fastest at 1’34:553s.
In FP3, Markus seemed to have mastered the circuit as he went on at a blistering speed to score a better lap time. He clocked in his best at 1’33:048s. Markus currently leads the overall charts with a total of 155.5 points.
The rider may not have had a colourful start in the season opener but has been acing since then and is in contention for winning the championship title on the grounds of Zhuhai.
Commenting on the sessions, Markus said, “This is my first time here in ZIC. I did go around the circuit, on a walk and realised that this circuit is really different, for example compared to Mandalika.
“The other circuits were wider compared to ZIC which is way narrower. The tarmac was a little rough I suppose. But the layout was easy to learn and after a few laps, I was already on top of the chart. The machine is in excellent condition as always and the team has been working tirelessly to maintain that.
“The electronics are good, maybe some minor adjustments. Initially, I had some issues in certain areas but I guess we managed to overcome that. It definitely needs a lot of acceleration, especially with the others who are much smaller in size, they have a better advantage here.
“I struggled a bit to make the gap wider but I am good at braking, so more or less, I think I will do good. My goal is to make it at least 1 second better for the qualifying tomorrow and take the championship win here.”
Taking the second fastest spot for the day was Zaqhwan Zaidi after FP3 with his best lap time at 1’33:626s.
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman of ONEXOX BMW TKKR Team made it third fastest at 1’33:765s after FP3.
NAKARIN CONFIDENT AT ZIC
Moving swiftly to the tune of their machines while finding the perfect rhythm for a score, the riders of the SuperSports 600cc are back once again in the game for Round 5 of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship which was held at the Zhuhai International Circuit. Clocking in fastest in the practice sessions combined was Nakarin Atiratphuvapat of Honda Racing Thailand.
FP1 session for the SS600 race category took place this morning with Azroy Hakeem of Boon Siew Honda Racing Team clocking in fastest at 1’37:732s followed by his teammate Khairul with his best lap time at 1’37:981s.
Third was Nakarin of Honda Racing Thailand with his best lap time at 1’38:109s. In FP2 session, Khairul made it fastest at 1’38:156s although his lap time increased by almost a second from the earlier lap time. His two other teammates, Azroy and Helmi made it third and second fastest with their best lap times at 1’38:227s and 1’38:340s respectively.
In FP3, Nakarin took a notch up and improved on his lap time, clocking in fastest at 1’37:256s. The Thai rider who currently takes the second spot overall with a total of 120 points was third overall last season.
While he has maintained his position quite well for the season, the stakes are high considering his closest contenders who are equally competitive. But Nakarin has surely showcased some strengths on this circuit today.
Commenting on the sessions, Nakarin said, “FP1 and FP2 were merely a test ride for me today. I rode alone to find the right settings. It was only in FP3 that I focused and monitored the lap time.
“Looks like my settings have worked. I have not raced on this circuit aboard the 600cc machine but I have raced here for the Asia Talent Cup in 2015. I have no recollection of the circuit, to be honest. But riding on it today, I recognised that it has narrow and high-speed corners which require hard braking.
“I would say that it is a highly technical circuit. That would be a challenge because I cannot afford to make any mistakes there. There are some minor settings to be adjusted for tomorrow’s qualifying session. Overall, I want to win in both the races here.”
Boon Siew teammates, Helmi and Khairul made it third and second fastest in FP3 and combined with their best lap time at 1’37:326s and 1’37:348s respectively.
FREE PRACTICE RESULTS:
Asia Superbike 1000cc
1. Markus Reiterberger, ONEXOX BMW TKKR Team, 1’33:048s
2. Md Zaqhwan Zaidi, Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA, 1’33:626s
3. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, ONEXOX BMW TKKR Team, 1’33:765s
4. Kasma Daniel Kamaruzaman, YAMAHA GEN BLU Racing Team ASEAN, 1’33:992s
5. Andi Farid Izdihar, Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA, 1’34:005s
1. Nakarin Atiratphuvapat, Honda Racing Thailand, 1’37:256s
2. Md Helmi Azman, Boon Siew Honda Racing Team, 1’37:326s
3. Khairul Idham Pawi, Boon Siew Honda Racing Team, 1’37:348s
4. Azroy Hakeen Anuar, Boon Siew Honda Racing Team, 1’37:541s
5. Keito Abe, ONEXOX TKKR Racing Team, 1’37:725s