Published on March 17th, 2017 | by Amirul Mukminin0
ARRC: Decha Inches Closer to Track Record
While Malaysian rider Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi dominated the proceedings in the first day of pre-season tests for the 2017 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, it was Thai rider Decha Kraisart who came close to setting a new benchmark for the SuperSports 600cc class at the Johor Circuit. The Yamaha Thailand Racing rider found his rhythm in the closing sessions of the two-day practice and clocked the fastest time of the class, 01’31.051s.
36-year-old Decha, who was the SuperSports 600cc champion in 2007 and 2010, has shown no sign of slowing down. Having just won second place in the recent World SuperSports Championship race in Thailand as a wildcard last weekend, Decha is in the hunt for his third Asian trophy.
“Our campaign got off to a slow start last year. Here at the Johor Circuit in Pasir Gudang, I was only able to finish 12th in Race 2 and suffered a DNF in Race 1. But we’ve been able to overcome our problems in the second half of the 2016 season and I’m hoping to score major points when the season kicks off in two weeks’ time,” said Decha.
However, Decha’s best time only came close to the existing track record set by Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi (01’31.016s). As the pre-season test wrapped up, defending champion Zaqhwan posted the second fastest combined time of 01’31.381s followed by Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman with 01’31.441s. Decha’s team mate Chalermpol Polamai was fourth fastest with 01’31.871s while 18-year-old Japanese ace Taiga Hada rounded up the top five with 01’32.045s.
Team Yamaha Thailand Racing was equally strong in the Asia Production 250cc. With defending champion Apiwat Wongthananon jetting off to take part in the Spanish Championship this season, Anupab Sarmoon proved himself an able replacement when he logged the fastest time of 01’43.469s. Anupab’s best time has become the new lap record for the Johor Circuit, smashing Apiwat’s previous laptime of 01’44.959s by more than a second. Indonesians Rheza Danica Ahrens and Gerry Salim, both from team Astra Honda Racing, clocked the second and third fastest time of the session astride their brand new Honda CBR250RR. Newcomer Rheza posted 01’43.536s ahead of Gerry’s 01’44.432s.
In the Underbone 150cc category, it was an all-Malaysian affair at the top end of the timesheets. Team RCB Motobatt Yamaha YY Pang duo Mohd Azhar Abdul Jalil and Tengku Amirul Haffiruddin led the proceedings with times of 01’48.907s and 01’49.127s respectively. Rookie rider Mohd Helmi Azman, representing incoming team TKKR Onexox Racing, was third fastest with 01’49.251s.
1. Decha Kraisart (THA) Yamaha 1’31.051s
2. Md Zaqhwan Zaidi (MAS) Honda 1’31.381s
3. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (MAS) Kawasaki 1’31.441s
4. Chalermpol Polamai (THA) Yamaha 1’31.871s
5. Taiga Hada (JPN) Honda 1’32.045s
Asia Production 250cc
1. Anupab Sarmoon (THA) Yamaha 1’43.469s
2. Rheza Danica Ahrens (INA) Honda 1’43.536s
3. Gerry Salim (INA) Honda 1’43.555s
4. Peerapong Loiboonpeng (THA) Yamaha 1’44.432s
5. Galang Hendra Pratama (INA) Yamaha 1’44.520s
1. Azhar Abd Jalil (MAS) Yamaha 1’48.907s
2. Tengku Amirul Haffirudin (MAS) Yamaha 1’49.127s
3. Md Helmi Azman (MAS) Yamaha 1’49.251s
4. Md Muzakkir Mohamed (MAS) Honda 1’49.413s
5. Md Adib Rosley (MAS) Yamaha 1’49.522s