With track temperatures soaring at the Madras Motor Race Track, all signs are pointing to a scorcher of a race for the third leg of the PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship.
The 600cc riders power-slid their way around the 3.717km circuit with Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman quickly putting his marker on the coveted pole position with a new lap record of 01:42.909s.
And only a day after predicting a Yamaha-advantage, Azlan’s team mate Makoto Tamada powered his own Honda to second on the grid with 01:43.593s. This makes it Tamada’s best start in the race to date, after struggling with bike setting issues for the past two rounds. Mohd Zamri Baba, who has been consistently fast the entire weekend, will take up the third spot on the front row with 01:43.713s.
“Pole position is perhaps the most important winning-factor in this round. The circuit is tight and there are very few overtaking opportunities, especially in the 600cc class. After clocking in fastest during the morning session, I was even more determined to take the pole position. The new lap record was a bonus,” said Azlan.
Rafid Topan’s Underbone lap record that stayed intact in the first day was quickly erased as the second day of practices commenced. Harlan Fadhillah beat the record by 0.346 seconds in Free Practice 3 with a fastest lap of 01:59.474s.
Ahmad Afif Amran quickly bested that time during the opening minutes of the qualifying session with 01:58.672s. But the riders’ momentum was interrupted when the red flag came out on the 18th minute following a crash between Mohd Hafieenaz Mohd Ali and Mohd Adib Rosley. Both riders were reported to be OK. Hafieenaz rode back to the paddock on his own power but Adib fared a little worse, suffering from a sprained ankle.
However, momentum interrupted, there were no more record-breaking charges by the Underbone riders. Afif scored pole position with his new lap record and will be joined on the front row by defending champion Hadi Wijaya who was second fastest with 01:58.703s and Ferlando Herdian third fastest with 01:59.248s.
“For the most part, I did my quick lap with a clear track around me. But I did caught up to other riders at the last few corners and slipstreamed my way into pole position,” said Afif. “With the top five riders all clocking below the 2-minute mark, the pole position advantage is really very minimal.”
Indian riders Sumit Lucas Prabhu will start 11th on the grid with Arunagiri Prabhu starting in 14th place.
SuperSports 600cc Practice 3 Results
1. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (MAS), 1:43.417s; 2. Md Zamri Baba (MAS), 1:43.500s; 3. Katsuaki Fujiwara (JPN), 1:43.964s; 4. Yuki Ito (JPN), 1:44.304s; 5. Makoto Tamada (JPN), 1:44.347
SuperSports 600cc Qualifying Results
1. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (MAS), 01:42.785s (new lap record); 2. Makoto Tamada (JPN), 01:43.593s; 3. Md Zamri Baba (MAS), 01:43.713s; 4. Katsuaki Fujiwara (JPN), 01:43.954s; 5. Peerawat Wongthananon (THA), 01:44.031s
Asia Dream Cup Practice 2 Results:
1. Dwi Satria (INA), 01:57.075; 2. Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (THA), 01:57.240; 3. Hiroki Ono (JPN), 01:57.306; 4. Md Fitri Ashraf Razali (MAS), 01:57.694; 5. Jakkrit Swangswat (THA), 01:57.924
Asia Dream Cup Qualifying Results:
1. Hiroki Ono (JPN), 01:56.230s; 2. Md Dwi Satria (INA), 01:56.600s; 3. Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (THA), 01:57.068s; 4. Md Fitri Ashraf Razali (MAS), 01:57.643s; 5. Khairul Idham Pawi (INA), 01:57.882s
Underbone 115cc Practice 3 Results:
1. Harlan Fadhillah (INA), 1:59.474s; 2. Ahmad Afif Amran (MAS), 1:59.794s; 3. Gupita Kresna Wardhana (INA), 2:00.725s; 4. Ferlando Herdian (INA), 2:00.953s; 5. Md Amirul Ariff Musa (MAS), 2:01.097s
Underbone 115cc Qualifying Results
1. Ahmad Afif Amran (MAS), 01:58.672s (new lap record); 2. Hadi Wijaya (INA), 01:58.703s; 3. Ferlando Herdian (INA), 01:59.248s; 4. Gupita Kresna Wardhana (INA), 01:59.728s; 5. Harlan Fadhillah (INA), 01:59.744s
Race begins on Sunday, 14th July at 10am with the action packed races expectedat the MMRT.