Reigning champion, Gupita Kresna has played down possibilities of lifting his second successive Asian Underbone 130cc crown early as the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship heads to Qatar for the penultimate round this weekend.
Despite having collected 151 points under his belt, the Manual Tech KYT Rextor rider stressed that the ‘real battle’ had only just begun and believes the 33 points he holds over closest challenger, Norizman Ismail (Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing) means nothing with 100 points still left to play in the remaining two rounds.
To win the championship, Gupita must win both races at the Losail International Circuit and hope that Norizman finishes no higher than third. If his Malaysian rival manages to win or finish at least one race in second place, the title battle will most certainly be decided at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand in December.
Also in the running to fight for the title would be Ferlando Herdian (BKMS Indonesia Racing Team) who is currently ranked third overall with 107 points.
“Mathematically, we can take the title this weekend but it is highly unlikely. But anything can happen during a race,” said Gupita. “In fact I’m not thinking about winning the championship at Qatar. Yes, that is the objective but when doesn’t matter. The priority is to extend our championship lead beyond Norizman’s reach. Right now 33-points is too little to make a difference.”
Speaking about his form ahead of the night race this weekend, Gupita commented, “We arrive at Qatar confident, strong and competitive after Thailand. We have all the cards to fight for the championship until the very last race. I just hope we can have an incident-free race. Last year I suffered a huge crash during the sprint to the finish line. It was a traumatizing experience and I intend to avoid getting caught in situations like that ever again,” he said.