Rafid Topan Sucipto executed his campaign on a high note breaking the fastest qualifying lap record in the Underbone 115cc category before crashing on two occasions for the 2011 PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) opening leg.
The Yamaha CKJ TJM Racing rider timed 1:24.408s in lap 6 at the Sepang International Circuit North Track. He was followed by compatriot and defending Champion, Hadi Wijaya (Kawasaki NHK Rextor Manual Tech) with 1:25.436s and Malaysian rider, Zulsyafiz Rosli (Team MOS Malaysia Racing) 1:25.494s.
Pleased with the outcome despite the crashes, Rafid commented, "I am satisfied to have broken the lap record here in Sepang. At first I couldn't believe it because seeing that I crashed twice at turn 2 and turn 4."
The 17 years old went on to evaluate his first outing and said, "In the morning practice we faced some difficulties searching for the right setup but the team mechanics resolved it before the qualifying practice. The crash however was my own fault. I knew the bike was already at its limit but I continued pushing. Luckily I did not sustain any injury."
Rafid who is making early preparations to race in the SuperSports 600cc next season also felt that the competition this season will be very tight.
"2011 will not be a walk through the park with the familiar faces returning to the grid. Last season was already tough for me and I can't imagine what this year holds."
To come in fourth was Shahril Izzuwan Mohd Noor (PETRONAS Syntium Moto Yamaha AHM) followed by Denny Triyugo (Yamaha Yamalube FDR KYT).
Best Thai rider for the day was Prawat Yannawut (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) in sixth placing followed by Mohd Rozaliman Zakaria (ZAR RACING MOTORSPORT), Denny's teammate and SuperSports 600cc rider, Sudarmono, Ahmad Afif Amran (Yamah CKJ TJM Racing) and Sasitharen Sukumaran (M-Seki Liberty Honda Racing).
Meanwhile, Philippine rider John Lery F. Enriquez concluded the qualifying session 24th.
Issued by Global PR Sdn Bhd
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