Published on November 29th, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin0
ARRC: Zaqhwan Needs Double Win to Become Asian Champion
Team Musashi Boon Siew Honda’s Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi will need to win big this weekend during the Asia Road Racing Championship finale at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand. Currently trailing the SuperSports 600cc championship leader Tomoyoshi Koyama by seven points, Zaqhwan will need to elevate his game to an even higher level.
“There’s no way around it. To confirm the title, I must win both races (Race 1 and Race 2). There is literally no room for mistakes because Koyama has also consistently delivered strong performances in Buriram,” said the MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda rider who also won the SuperSports 600cc crown in 2014.
Zaqhwan is one of four riders still in contention for the top honours in the premiere class. Tomoyoshi Koyama leads by 150 points followed by Zaqhwan with 143 points. Defending champion Yuki Takahashi is currently third with 128 points while Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman who is fourth with 116 points still holds an outside chance of overturning the odds.
“I will have to win this one on my own. Back in 2014, I had help from Mohd Zamri Baba. This time, my own team mate (Yuki Takahashi) is also a title contender. We will each have to win on our own merits because team orders will not be forthcoming,” said Zaqhwan.
The 21-year-old Malaysian rider will also have to contend with a crowded SuperSports 600cc grid due to a high number of strong wildcard entries.
“In addition to the season regulars, the SuperSports 600cc class will see wildcard performances from riders like Hikari Okubo (2012 Asia Dream Cup Champion and current WSS rider), Zulfahmi Khairuddin (WSS), Chalermpol Polamai (All Japan Champion), as well as Tatsuya Yamaguchi (former Moto2 rider). If I were a fan of Asian motorcycle racing, I will be glued in front of my television this weekend. Where else would you see so many strong Asian riders competing together on a single track? It would be fun for the fans; but less fun for us riders,” Zaqhwan added in jest.