Shahril Izzuwan Mohd Noor did Malaysians proud as he secured lead position in the Underbone 115cc overall standings having finished both Race 1 and Race 2 on the podium during the 2011 PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) season opener at home track, Sepang International Circuit today.
The PETRONAS Syntium Moto Yamaha AHM rider concluded both races in second place, clocking in with 20:06.351s and 20:05.688s. With 20 points from each race, Shahril pilots the standings with 40 points.
However, to win Race 1 was pole man, Rafid Topan Sucipto (Yamaha CKJ TJM Racing). The 16 years old kept a good pace to match the frontrunners before going for the kill on Shahril in the final lap of the race clocking in 29:06.317s- a 0.034s advantage over the latter.
Third came in defending Champion, Hadi Wijaya (Kawasaki NHK Rextor Manual Tech with 20:10.611s while Mohd Rozaiman Mohd Said (Motul Yamaha YY Pang Racing) and wildcard, Mohd Rozaliman Zakaria (ZAR RACING MOTORSPORT) complete the top five.
Pleased with a good start to his 2011 campaign, Rafid commented, "I'm very grateful for this win and the team for contributing a lot to today's success."
He went on to assess his first win for the season, "It was not easy with so many riders on the grid. At first my strategy was to break away as soon as possible from the pack but everybody was close to each other not to mention fast. I quickly changed my plan and maintained a consistent ride instead before pushing in the few final laps. It was a great race!" he said.
Rafid's domination however came to a quick end in Race 2 following malfunctions to his Yamaha, six laps into the race. This gave Malaysians, namely Shahril, Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa, Rozaliman the opportunity to steal lead and assume control of the pace.
Yamaha Yamalube FDR KYT riders, Denny Triyugo and Sudarmono were the only ones capable of posing a threat but the duo dropped behind as their contenders were very aggressive. In the end, Rozaliman took the winning podium followed by Shahril and Amirul clocking in with 20:05.638s, 20:05.688s and 20:05.691s respectively.
Ecstatic with his win, Rozaliman commented, "I really did not expect to win today as competition was intense. Furthermore, I started from fifth on the grid and Topan had been fast all weekend. Facing rivals head on would definitely be unwise so I reserved my bike for the final lap. Even that would have been impossible if Shahril had not went wide at the final turn," said the 20 years old.
When asked if ZAR RACING MOTORSPORT have any plans to go full season in the PETRONAS ARRC, Rozaliman replied, "It's hard to say. Of course, winning an international race is a positive thing but it all depends on the management and sponsors. Ideally we would want to."
Having finished fifth in the morning session, Rozaliman registers second in the overall standings with 36 points while Hadi Wijaya comes in third, 26 points, followed by Rafid fourth, 25 points and Sudarmono fifth, 23 points.
Best Thai rider was Prawat Yannawut (Yamaha Thailand Racing) in 10th place with 11 points while Team Suzuki Pilipinas rider, John Lery F.Enriquez concluded his ARRC debut with no points.
Issued by Global PR Sdn Bhd
Copryight to Two Wheels Motor Racing Sdn Bhd