After a thrilling opening leg in May, the new Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSC) hosts its second round in high profile fashion in conjunction with Round 10 of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship 2015 at Malaysia’s Home of Motorsports later this month.
Another world class event promoted and organised by Sepang International Circuit (SIC), the second edition of Malaysia’s WSBK race will also feature Race 5 and 6 of the increasingly popular Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup (SAATC), which pits the best young talents in the region against their peers.
Rebranded from the old Malaysian Super Series motorcycling competition, the MSC has injected new excitement into the championship especially with the addition of the Desmo Cup Race Series organised by Ducati Club Malaysia – a gentlemen’s race for race-loving bike owners.
Defending champion Steve Martin will again be the man to beat in the Superstock Championship after his dominating performance demonstrating flawless riding in the opening round where the British rider won both Race 1 and Race 2 with considerable ease.
“It will be hard to beat Steve when he is on form; but we will do our bit to make Round 2 more difficult for him. We need to be in our top form; I, personally, would need to push harder. Hopefully, we get the perfect setting for the bike for Round 2,” says Ahmad Nashrul Baharuddin.
Dethroned last year by Martin, Ahmad Nashrul, who rides for a new racing outfit Team Project X, took second place in both races to collect 40 championship points, thus trailing his rival by 10 points. Seasoned campaigner Nasarudin Mat Yusop is third with 32 points.
“We would also need to be on the lookout for unexpected big names in key rounds like the WSBK support races. Based on previous experience, these riders like to pop up at the glamour rounds to show off their skills in the Superstock category. It is good for the competition. They make the contest more exciting. So far, we don’t have any info yet. But they will be there – and we will be ready,” added Nashrul.
The private battle between the BikeArt Racing Team buddies – Muhammad Farid Badrul Hisham and Hazlanshah Mohd Noor, which dominated the entire 2014 season and this year’s opening round – is expected to resume in Round 2.
Defending champion Muhammad Farid had the edge over Hazlanshah in Round 1 and will be determined to stay in the spot above his best friend and teammate in his bid to retain the coveted crown.
But, like the Superstock Championship, they can expect new challenges from event-to-event competitors in the 600cc Supersport Championship especially from those competing in the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC), who could turn up for the event.
The Superbike Championship will be missing championship leader Muhammad Zamri Baba, who is recuperating from injuries sustained at the ARRC race in Jakarta, Indonesia. Zamri leads the championship with 45 points.
In Zamri’s absence, India’s Rajini Krishnan, who is currently second with 41 points, could be looking at a golden opportunity to score his first win in the championship and take charge of the championship, although he can expect stiff challenge from his other rivals including Martin, who is competing in two categories again this season.
After a commendable debut, the Desmo Cup Race Series is expected to draw a bigger participation for Round 2 especially with the pull of the international stature of WSBK.
No fewer than 20 bikes are expected to line up at the grid for the round with participation coming not just from Malaysia but also regionally such as Thailand.
Promoted by Ducati Club Malaysia, the Desmo Cup Series is designed to encourage owners of the revered Ducati 899 Panigale and Superbike to push their machines to the limit in a closed and safe environment rather than facing the dangers of road riding.
Based on the thrills and spills of the opening round, fans can expect an even more exhilarating experience in Round 2 as the riders return with a vengeance for better results this time round.
Tickets for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship 2015 Malaysian Round can be purchased at the SIC Ticketing Office or via the internet at www.sepangcircuit.com or by calling the TICKET HOTLINE at 03-8778 2222.
POINT STANDINGS AFTER ROUND ONE
1. Steve Martin (Kawasaki ZX10R) 50 pts
2. Ahmad Nashrul Baharuddin (Honda CBR1000RR) 40 pts
3. Nasarudin Mat Yusop (BMW S1000RR) 32 pts
4. Mohd Zairie Zaharuddin (Honda CBR1000) 24 pts \
5. Mohd Al-Amirul Ashshahid (Honda CBR1000) 23 pts
1. Muhamad Zamri Baba (Honda CBR1000) 45 pts
2. Rajini Krishnan (Kawasaki ZX10R) 41 pts
3. Sharulnizam Ramli (BMW S1000RR) 26 pts
4. Leonardo Sacchetto (Kawasaki ZX10R) 22 pts