2012 PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship
Round 1, Sepang International Circuit, North Track
2012 PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship Kicks off in Sepang
The brand new 2012 PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) season got underway with the first leg taking place at the Sepang International Circuit (North Track) last weekend. With the typical unsettling tropical weather dictating the weekend’s proceedings, the weekend began with practice and qualifying rounds before the two intense races on Sunday.
The SuperSports 600cc category proved to be a battle of wits as spectators were treated to a four-way fight between Japanese duo Ryuichi Kiyonari and defending Champion Katsuki Fujiwara against Malaysians Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman and PETRONAS Syntium Moto Hong Leong Yamaha’s Zamri Baba.
Race 1 on Sunday morning witnessed a gripping duel as the four riders went all out through the 25 round race for the honours of the season’s first win. The epic duel eventually went in the way of the Japanese veteran Katsuki Fujiwara who had to fight all the way to the chequered flag for the win ahead of Honda’s Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman and teammate Ryuichi Kiyonari. PETRONAS Syntium Moto Hong Leong Yamaha’s Zamri Baba completed the race in fourth place.
Sunday afternoon’s Race 2 meanwhile took a dramatic turn as the race was red flagged following a pile up which saw eight riders retire from the race within the first three laps. Amongst the victims of the crash was PETRONAS Hong Leong Yamaha team’s young rookie Mohd Ramdan Mohd Rosli. As a result of the crashes, the restart saw the remaining 11 bikes battle it out, intensifying the race even more as the riders fought for position. Nevertheless, that did not deter Fujiwara from bagging another win to complete the race with total time 17:47.841s followed by Kiyonari and Azlan with 17:48.179s and 17:48.297s respectively. Finishing fourth for the second time was Zamri Baba.
The Underbone 115cc category was an Indonesian affair with Hadi Wijaya (Yamaha Yamalube KYT R9 Tunggal Jaya) winning the closely-fought race ahead of fellow countryman Rey Ratukore (Nissin R9 KYT Federal Oil BRT). Malaysian Norizman Ismail (Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing) finished 3rd. PETRONAS Syntium Moto Yamaha AHM rider, Mohd Iskandar Raduan finished 8th.
Race 2 of the Underbone category proved to be a better outing for Norizman as he made up for the mistakes to claim the win ahead of Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa (Pachie Yuzy Honda Racing) and Rey. While Mohd Iskandar Raduan raced from a P8 in Race 1 all the way to a P4 status in Race 2.
1. Katsuaki Fujiwara (Kawasaki) 27'49.221s 2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 27'49.221s 3. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (Honda) 27'50.922s 4. Mohd Zamri Baba (Yamaha) 27'54.131s 5. Ahmad Fuad Baharudin (Kawasaki) 28'06.129s
1. Katsuaki Fujiwara (Kawasaki) 17'47.841s 2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 17'48. 179s 3. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (Honda) 17'48.297s 4. Mohd Zamri Baba (Yamaha) 17'59.222s 5. Mohd Farid Badrul Hisham (Yamaha) 18'13.367s
1. Katsuaki Fujiwara (Kawasaki) 50 points 2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 40 points 3. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (Honda) 32 points 4. Mohd Zamri Baba (Yamaha) 26 points 5. Mohd Farid Badrul Hisham (Yamaha) 18 points
1. Manual Tech BEET Kawasaki Racing (50 points) 2. MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing (40 points) 3. PETRONAS Hong Leong Yamaha (26 points) 4. Bike ART Kawasaki Racing (20 points) 5. MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing Malaysia (15 points)
1.Hadi Wijaya (Yamaha) 19'48.831s 2.Rey Ratukore (Yamaha) 19'48.920s 3. Norizman Ismail (Honda) 19'48.983s 4. Mohd Afif Amran (Yamaha) 19'49.141s 5. Mohd Affendi Rosli (Honda) 19'49.148s
1.Norizman Ismail (Honda) 19'50.181s 2.Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa (Honda) 19'50.237s 3.Rey Ratukore (Yamaha) 18'51.589s 4.Mohd Iskandar Raduan (Yamaha) 19'51.674s 5. Hadi Wijaya (Yamaha) 19'51.828s
1. Norizman Ismail (Honda) 41 points 2.Hadiwijaya (Yamaha) 36 points 3. Rey Ratukore (Yamaha) 36 points 4. Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa (Honda) 26 points 5. Mohd Afif Amran (Yamaha) 23 points
1. Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing (61 points) 2. Yamaha Yamalube KYT R9 Tunggal Jaya (26 points 3. Nissin R9 KYT Federal Oil BRT (36 points) 4. Pachie Yuzy Honda Racing (26 points) 5. CKJ Yamaha Racing (23 points)