Published on December 4th, 2017 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Azlan and Akid Confirmed as 2017 Asian Champions
Malaysian riders Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman and Mohd Akid Aziz won big at the season finale of the 2017 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship held at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand. The two riders, one a seasoned campaigner and the other a rising star on the Malaysian motorsports horizon, were confirmed as the champions in the SuperSports 600cc and the Underbone 150cc categories respectively.
Azlan, who was riding for his second season with Kawasaki outfit Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing, went out on Race 2 looking stronger and more confident after a fifth place finish in Race 1.
As Race 2 was flagged off, Yamaha Thailand Racing’s Apiwat Wongthananon quickly became a blue streak at the front of the group. Azlan was left fighting for third place against Chalermpol Polamai, Anthony West and Thitipong Warokorn. He maintained a third place position for the majority of the race but dropped to fourth when he was overtaken by Chalermpol on Lap 14.
A last lap push brought Azlan flying past Chalermpol at the closing minutes of the final race and he succeeded in claiming the third spot on the podium in 29’59.060s. Azlan was 5.9 seconds adrift of Apiwat who clinched the double victory in 29’53.158s. Anthony West was second in the race.
“Our team worked really through the night to prepare a third engine for me. My thanks to them for not giving up. It was really a tough situation to overcome. I just knew that I had to finish as high as possible. At the same time, I had to save my tyres for the end of the race. Luckily, the strategy worked and I was able to overtake Chalermpol at the final lap,” said Azlan who shed tears of happiness when he realized that he had won the title with 155 points. The last time Kawasaki had won the Asian title was in 2011 through Katsuaki Fujiwara.
Azlan’s closest rival for the title, Zaqhwan Zaidi, was seventh across the chequered flag. Consequently, he dropped to second overall with 153 points. Taiga Hada was ranked third with 149 points.
In the Underbone 150cc category, Mohd Akid Aziz did just enough to pick up the first international title of his career. Akid finished a safe eighth in Race 2 behind race winner Azroy Hakeem Anuar (16’46.680s), second-placed Wahyu Aji Trilaksana (16’46.786s) and third-placed Mohd Helmi Azman (16’46.859s).
With 177 points in his pockets, Akid became the first Malaysian since 2009 to win the Underbone title in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship. The last Malaysian rider to break the Indonesian domination was Mohd Affendi Rosli.
Defending champion Wahyu Aji Trilaksana dropped to second overall with 165 points while Akid’s team mate Mohd Haziq Mohd Fairues ended the season in third with 141 points.