Musashi Boon Siew Honda Racing’s Yuki Takahashi wrapped up the penultimate round of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship on a high as he bagged his fifth consecutive win in Race 2 of the SuperSports 600cc category at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
The poleman eased to victory after closest challenger, Yudhistira (Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki) lost pace due to worn out tyres with five laps remaining while title contender, Tomoyoshi Koyama (T.Pro Yuzy Honda NTS) struggled with a shoulder injury sustained in yesterday’s race.
Yuki rounded up the gruelling 15-lap battle in 31’18.704s, 9.196 seconds ahead of Yudhistira in second place with 31’27.900s.
Koyama who could only put out a strong pace in the first five laps rode through his pain and finished third with 31’38.809s to keep his championship hopes alive.
With this win, Yuki extended his point tally to 177 points, 44 points ahead of Tomoyoshi Koyama (T.Pro Yuzy Honda NTS) followed by Yudhistira third with 123 points.
His victory at the 5.380 kilometre circuit also meant that Musashi Boon Siew Honda Racing have successfully retain the SuperSports 600cc Team Award for a fourth consecutive year with 193 points.
“Race 2 was very difficult. I wanted to take advantage of my pole position to steal the holeshot and pull away quickly but Koyama had an amazing start. It was only in the second lap that I managed to get in front but even so, everybody was still quite close. I didn’t want to take any risk so I kept a steady pace and tried my best to hold off Yudhistira,” commented Yuki on the race. “I am proud to take another double win and I am very happy that we succeeded to defend the Best Team Award four years running. It’s been an unbelievable year from the results to the performance of the bike and this victory is well deserved,” he added.
Meanwhile Takehiro Yamamoto took his second victory in Race 2 of the Asia Production 250cc.
The Trickstar Racing rider endured a race-long battle with AP Honda Racing Thailand duo, Apiwat Wongthananon, Nakarin Athiratphuvapat and Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin (Yamaha Finson Racing) before he got the best of his rivals to cross the finish line first in 21’54.699s.
The real surprise however came in the form of Kasma Daniel who rocket his way from fifth row to become a constant feature in the front group, eventually completing the race second with 21’54.699s followed by Apiwat third, 21’54.813s.
Hauling 50 points from this leg, Takehiro heads into the final round in Thailand with 186 points, 25 points ahead of Apiwat with Nakarin trailing in third, 146 points.
The Indonesian rider finished fourth to bring his championship lead to 184 points, an unassailable 59-point advantage over title challengers, Ferlando Herdian (BKMS Indonesia Racing Team) and Norizman Ismail (Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing) with two races remaining.
The 11 points from Race 2 was also enough for Gupita to help Manual Tech KYT Rextor seal the Underbone 130cc team award as well.
Horseoil Williams Racing Team’s Fazrul Sham who could not escape the pack left it to the final lap to take charge of the field and his gamble paid off when he crossed the finish line first to claim his maiden win for the season in 18’13.062s.
Fazrul was flanked by compatriots, Sasitharen Sukumaran (T.Pro Yuzy Honda NTS) anad Fareez Afeez (Felda PB Racing) who rounded up the 7-lap race in 18’13.437s and 18’13.465s respectively, making it an all-Malaysian affair.
1.Yuki Takahashi (Honda) 31’18.704s 2.Ahmad Yudhistira (Kawasaki) 31’27.900s 3.Tomoyoshi Koyama (Honda) 31’38.809s 4.Zaqhwan Zaidi (Honda) 31’38.830s 5.Jakkrit Swangswat (Honda) 31’38.949s
1.Yuki Takahashi (Honda) 177 points 2.Tomoyoshi Koyama (Honda) 133 points 3.Ahmad Yudhistira (Kawasaki) 123 points 4.Yuki Ito (Yamaha) 101 points 5.Dimas Ekky (Honda) 88 points
1.Musashi Boon Siew Honda Racing 193 points 2.T.Pro Yuzy Honda NTS 133 points 3.Astra Honda Racing Team 128 points 4.Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki 123 points 5.PETRONAS Hong Leong Yamaha 105 points
Asia Production 250cc
1.Takehiro Yamamoto (Kawasaki) 21’54.648s 2.Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin (Yamaha) 21’54.699s 3.Apiwat Wongthananon (Honda) 21’54.813s 4.Peerapong Boonlert (Yamaha) 21’54.860s 5.Nakarin Athiratphuvapat (Honda) 21’55.108s
- Takehiro Yamamoto (Kawasaki) 186 points 2.Apiwat Wongthananon (Honda) 161 points 3.Nakarin Athiratphuvapat (Honda) 146 points 4.Ayumu Tanaka (Yamaha) 85 points 5.Vorapong Malahuan (Honda) 82 points
1.AP Honda Racing Thailand 192 points 2.TRICKSTAR Racing 186 points 3.Yellowcorn Akeno Speed Racing 85 points 4.Yamaha Factory Racing Indonesia 73 points 5.Yamaha Thailand Racing Team 60 points
1.Ahmad Fazrul Sham (Yamaha) 18’13.062s 2.Sasitharen Sukumaran (Honda) 18’13.437s 3.Fareez Afeez (Yamaha) 18’13.465s 4.Gupita Kresna (Kawasaki) 18’13.476s 5.Amirul Ariff Musa (Honda) 18’13.496s
1.Gupita Kresna (Kawasaki) 184 points 2.Ferlando Herdian (Yamaha) 125 points 3.Norizman Ismail (Honda) 124 points 4.Ahmad Fazrul Sham (Yamaha) 81 points 5.Fareez Afeez (Yamaha) 81 points
1.Manual Tech KYT Rextor 184 points 2.Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing 131 points 3.BKMS Indonesia Racing Team 125 points 4.T.Pro Yuzy Honda NTS 115 points 5.Felda PB Racing 105 points