Asia Road Racing Championship, ASB1000 class pre race
Chang International Circuit May 31 – June 2, 2019
The ASB1000 class is in its first season with the Asia Road Racing Championship, introduced last year as a natural progression to develop two wheel motorcycle racing in the region. Being the highest level of production bike racing in the world it offers champions graduating from their respective superbike national championships to compete at this level. So who is showing the early pace from the first two rounds?
Round 1 was held in Sepang Malaysia and the Malaysian rider Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman took the honours of being the first winner in the ABS1000 class in race 1. The Thai rider Thitipong Warokorn led for most of the race but his tyres did not last and was overtaken by Azlan on lap 9. Australian Broc Parkes crossed the line in third place to take the final spot on the podium.
Race two was held the next day, the sunny weather ended as rain came just as the pit lane was about to open. The challenging race in the wet produced another winner in Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi, following Zaqhwan was the Thai rider Thitipong Warokorn again who finished 2nd in front of the Japanese rider Yuki Ito.
Round 2 held at The Bend Motorsport park in Australia produced two more different winners and both Australians who probably new the 4.95km track more than any other riders.Bryan Staring, standing in for the injured Thitipong Warokorn, took the first race win followed by fellow Australian Broc Parkes in second and the Japanese rider Yuki Ito top complete the podium in race 1. Race 2 saw the two Australians change finishing places with Broc finishing ahead of Bryan this time, again Yuki Ito followed with third place.
Round 3 looks as though it will be exciting racing in this new series. Broc Parkes leads the series after 4 races followed by Md Zaqhwan Zaidi in second with Mr consistent Yuki Ito with three third place finished to keep him third in the series, perhaps this weekend will be his turn to produce a win. Also look out for the Thai riders, Thitipong Warokorn, Ratthapong Wilairot, Apiwat Wongthananon and Chaiwichit Nisakul who will all want to make a good showing in their home country.
Roy McIntosh is a freelance writer and photographer based in Buriram