AHMAD Yudhistira opened his 2015 campaign on a positive note by dominating the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship SuperSports 600cc practice at the Sepang Circuit on Friday.
The Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki rider topped the combined timesheets with 1â€™05.272s midway through FP2, edging out local favourtie, Zamri Baba (Musashi Boon Siew Honda) by 0.084 seconds who won at Sepang last year.
Third quickest was a resurgent Makoto Inagaki (Akeno Speed Racing) with 1â€™05.499s followed by former Moto2 rider, Yuki Takahashi and Tomoyoshi Koyama (TPro Yuzy Honda) who clocked their best lap time in 1â€™05.655s and 1â€™05.785s respectively.
â€œWe had a good start and I am very with todayâ€™s results. In fact, we got more out of todayâ€™s practice compared to the pre-season test because the track is clean from F1 debris and tyre residue,â€ said Yudhistira.
He added, â€œWe came prepared with a new engine and this enabled us to rocket ahead of our rivals. But this was only possible because the team had spent the entire season break developing the engine and running tests. Additionally, Iâ€™ve been spending a lot of time on physical training and I am mentally stronger as well.”
When asked about his expectations for the Qualifying tomorrow, Yudhistira said, â€œMy lap time has dropped significantly compared to the past two years so naturally the aim is to secure pole position. At the same time, I hope to be consistent with my lap time so I donâ€™t wear out the tyres too quickly especially here in Sepang which is known to be one of the hottest track on the race calendar.â€
Meanwhile Trickstar Racingâ€™s Takehiro Yamamoto continued his pre-season form and topped the newly introduced Asia Production 250cc (AP250) class.
Yamamoto set the benchmark early at 1â€™16.195s in FP1 and it almost looked like he was going to be the only rider to clock under 1 minute 16 seconds until Apiwat Wongthananon (AP Honda Racing Thailand) closed the gap on him late into FP2 with 1â€™16.654s.
Third quickest was Apiwatâ€™s teammate and Underbone 130cc graduate, Vorapong Malahuan who posted his quickest lap time in 1â€™17.090s.
Rounding up the top five quickest riders were Fitriansyah Kete (Faito Factory Racing) and Yamamotoâ€™s teammate, Ryunosuke Hyodo with 1â€™17.307s and 1â€™17.493s respectively.
Norizman Ismail commenced his campaign on a positive note as the Malaysian logged the quickest time in the Underbone 130cc.
Norizman riding for Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing benefited from his experience racing at the 2.807 kilometre track to clock in 1â€™20.667s followed by compatriot and wildcard entry, Ahmad Fazli Sham (PETRONAS Yamaha Maju Motor) who was second quickest with 1â€™21.105s.
The two seasoned contenders were the only two out of 22 riders who dipped their lap time under the 1 minute 20 seconds barrier.
Third fastest for the day was Indonesian, Ferlando Herdian (BKMS Indonesia Racing Team) followed by reigning Underbone 130cc champion, Gupita Kresna (Manual Tech KYT Rextor) with 1â€™21.230s and 1â€™21.251s respectively.
Fazli Shamâ€™s teammate, Abdul Muhaimin Roslan rounded up the top five in 1â€™21.314s.
The Underbone 130cc riders is set to go through another practice tomorrow morning to determine the top-10 riders who will qualify for the highly anticipated SuperPole.
In other developments, Hiroki Nakamura from Japan topped the Asia Dream Cup with 1â€™20.630s ahead of Philippinesâ€™ Koko Masaharu and Yusuke Nakamura who timed 1â€™20.851s and 1â€™21.046s.
While in the Suzuki Asian Challenge, Thailandâ€™s Patis Chooprathet appeared quickest with 1â€™26.882s followed by Dedi Kurniawan (Indonesia) 1â€™27.638s and Zulhilmi Yazid (Malaysia) 1â€™27.922s.
Combined Practice Results
1.Yudhistira (Kawasaki) 1â€™05.272s 2.Zamri Baba (Honda) 1â€™05.356s 3.Makoto Inagaki (Yamaha) 1â€™05.499s 4.Yuki Takahashi (Honda) 1â€™05.656s 5.Tomoyoshi Koyama (Honda) 1â€™05.785s
Asia Production 250cc
1.Takehiro Yamamoto (Kawasaki) 1â€™16.195s 2.Apiwat Wongthananon (Honda) 1â€™16.654s 3.Vorapong Malahuan (Honda) 1â€™17.090s 4.Fitriansyah Kete (Kawasaki) 1â€™17.307s 5.Ryunosuke Hyodo (Kawasaki) 1â€™17.493s
1.Norizman Ismail (Honda) 1â€™20.667s 2.Ahmad Fazli Sham (Yamaha) 1â€™21.105s 3.Ferlando Herdian (Yamaha) 1â€™21.230s 4.Gupita Kresna (Kawasaki) 1â€™21.251s 5.Abdul Muhaimin Roslan (Yamaha) 1â€™21.314s
Asia Dream Cup
1.Hiroki Nakamura (JPN) 1â€™20.630s 2.Koko Masaharu (PHI) 1â€™20.851s 3.Yusuke Nakamura (JPN) 1â€™21.046s 4.Hafiz Nor Azman (MAS) 1â€™21.293s 5.Muklada Sarapuech (THA) 1â€™21.354s
Suzuki Asian Challenge
1.Patis Chooprathet (THA) 1â€™26.882s 2.Dedi Kurniawan (INA) 1â€™27.638s 3.Zulhilmi Yazid (MAS) 1â€™27.922s 4.Andreas Gunawan (INA) 1â€™27.994s 5.Dedi Kurniawan (INA) 1â€™28.188s. – MYNEWSHUB.cc