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Ahmad Yudhistira Lays Down The Gauntlet

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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 1’05.272s 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 1’05.499s followed by former Moto2 rider, Yuki Takahashi and Tomoyoshi Koyama (TPro Yuzy Honda) who clocked their best lap time in 1’05.655s and 1’05.785s respectively.

“We had a good start and I am very with today’s results. In fact, we got more out of today’s practice compared to the pre-season test because the track is clean from F1 debris and tyre residue,” said Yudhistira.

He added, “We 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, I’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, “My 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 don’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.”

Meanwhile Trickstar Racing’s Takehiro Yamamoto continued his pre-season form and topped the newly introduced Asia Production 250cc (AP250) class.

Yamamoto set the benchmark early at 1’16.195s 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 1’16.654s.

Third quickest was Apiwat’s teammate and Underbone 130cc graduate, Vorapong Malahuan who posted his quickest lap time in 1’17.090s.

Rounding up the top five quickest riders were Fitriansyah Kete (Faito Factory Racing) and Yamamoto’s teammate, Ryunosuke Hyodo with 1’17.307s and 1’17.493s 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 1’20.667s followed by compatriot and wildcard entry, Ahmad Fazli Sham (PETRONAS Yamaha Maju Motor) who was second quickest with 1’21.105s.

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 1’21.230s and 1’21.251s respectively.

Fazli Sham’s teammate, Abdul Muhaimin Roslan rounded up the top five in 1’21.314s.

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 1’20.630s ahead of Philippines’ Koko Masaharu and Yusuke Nakamura who timed 1’20.851s and 1’21.046s.

While in the Suzuki Asian Challenge, Thailand’s Patis Chooprathet appeared quickest with 1’26.882s followed by Dedi Kurniawan (Indonesia) 1’27.638s and Zulhilmi Yazid (Malaysia) 1’27.922s.

Combined Practice Results
SuperSports 600cc
1.Yudhistira (Kawasaki) 1’05.272s 2.Zamri Baba (Honda) 1’05.356s 3.Makoto Inagaki (Yamaha) 1’05.499s 4.Yuki Takahashi (Honda) 1’05.656s 5.Tomoyoshi Koyama (Honda) 1’05.785s

Asia Production 250cc
1.Takehiro Yamamoto (Kawasaki) 1’16.195s 2.Apiwat Wongthananon (Honda) 1’16.654s 3.Vorapong Malahuan (Honda) 1’17.090s 4.Fitriansyah Kete (Kawasaki) 1’17.307s 5.Ryunosuke Hyodo (Kawasaki) 1’17.493s

Underbone 130cc
1.Norizman Ismail (Honda) 1’20.667s 2.Ahmad Fazli Sham (Yamaha) 1’21.105s 3.Ferlando Herdian (Yamaha) 1’21.230s 4.Gupita Kresna (Kawasaki) 1’21.251s 5.Abdul Muhaimin Roslan (Yamaha) 1’21.314s

Asia Dream Cup
1.Hiroki Nakamura (JPN) 1’20.630s 2.Koko Masaharu (PHI) 1’20.851s 3.Yusuke Nakamura (JPN) 1’21.046s 4.Hafiz Nor Azman (MAS) 1’21.293s 5.Muklada Sarapuech (THA) 1’21.354s

Suzuki Asian Challenge
1.Patis Chooprathet (THA) 1’26.882s 2.Dedi Kurniawan (INA) 1’27.638s 3.Zulhilmi Yazid (MAS) 1’27.922s 4.Andreas Gunawan (INA) 1’27.994s 5.Dedi Kurniawan (INA) 1’28.188s. –


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