LEWIS CORNISH TAKES SECOND CONSECUTIVE WIN OF THE SEASON.

  • United Kingdom’s Lewis Cornish wins Moto 1 and Moto 2, dominates top podium position in round 2 of the 2017 FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship’s International Class.
  • Khairi Zakaria stunned crowd with a spectacular performance in both Moto 1 and Moto 2, making him the first Malaysian to stand on both International and Asian Class Podium this season.
  • Japan’s Takashi Sasaki shines in Indonesia round, puts pressure on Malaysia’s ace and 2016 season champion, Muhd Habibullah.
  • Gabit Saleh races without slipper gear and faced a harsh race in Moto 1 and Moto 2, and completes the race fourth and third in both International Open Class and Asian Class race in Indonesia.

Muhd Habibullah

 

CENTRAL JAVA, INDONESIA, 15 OCTOBER 2017 – It was an excellent day for a perfect race. The warm weather maintained at 28 degrees Celcius kick-started the morning with an optimum condition off-road section for the morning Warm Up session. Thousands of Indonesian crowd packed up the venue at Solo Baru as early as 8:00AM (+7:00GMT) for another round of spectacular SuperMoto race.

United Kingdom’s Lewis Cornish, Thailand’s Trakarn Thangthong and the Malaysian duo, Khairi Zakaria and Muhd Habibullah aka Gabit Saleh was seen to be in their perfect condition for the Moto 1 and Moto 2 race.

Khairy Zakaria

Warm Up Report
Thailand’s Trakarn Thangthong led the pack of the Warm Up session, followed closely by Malaysia’s Gabit. The duel between the 2015 and 2016 FIM Asia SuperMoto champions started the morning with an exciting battle as Gabit closed the gap and pressured Trakarn on track despite a practice session.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Takashi Sasaki took the session with ease, waiting for his ultimate prey to start his race. It was the fifth lap that Sasaki was spotted brawling with the top two riders, Trakarn and Gabit.

However, Gabit’s pace and bike stability increased tremendously compared to his Qualifying and SuperChrono race yesterday.

Following closely behind was an unexpected contender, Indonesia’s ace, #162 Farhan Hendro that underperformed at the Qualifying race. His increased in confidence was seen by tailgating the front-runners that have outshone at the Qualifying race yesterday. With home advantage and more opportunities to familiarise himself with the circuit by competing in the local categories, Farhan stands a chance to outdo the rest of the competitors and his comrades with his experience.

Round 1 champion Lewis Cornish and Indonesian superstar Doni Tata Pradita were seen entering the track after five and eight minutes respectively during the Warm Up session.

Doni had difficulties riding the highly technical track with an Enduro bike, giving him a challenging ride on track but managed to maintain his pace throughout the warm up session. “It was tough but seems like I am getting a hang of my bike for the race. Hopefully, I will outperform in Moto 1 and Moto 2.”

Doni Tata Pradita

Moto 1 Report
Moto 1 received a warm welcome in Indonesia with a special Opening Ceremony graced by a full-fledged marching band and a stunt show performance. Opened by Sigit Diop Saputra, the representative of Bold Xperience, Chandra Syahriar, Managing Director of E-Plus Indonesia, Satheswaran Mayachandran, CEO of Asia Supersports Group, and Ahmad Suhaimi Abdullah, FIM Asia’s Jury President for Indonesia round, riders were seen focused during the line-up at their respective grid before the 2 lap warm-up laps.

United Kingdom’s Lewis Cornish steals the holeshot away by blocking Malaysia’s Khairi Zakaria at the first corner, giving the Briton a golden ticket to lead the pack at the beginning of the race. However, the first dangerous yet threatening corner continued to play a pivotal role in the positioning.

Six riders collided into each other, causing two machines to break down at the beginning of the race. #40 Taiwan’s Lee Wei and #33 Indonesia’s Ivan Harry Nugra were the victims of the collision, bringing a DNF for both riders at the first lap of Moto 1.

“The corner was too tight for all riders to cross, causing a collision at the first corner. Russia’s Artem Teslenko fell on my hand, but thankfully the injury is not major. I will take it slow in Moto 2 and be more cautious on the first corner, using every available opening and avoiding the same issue,” said Lee Wei.

The United Kingdom against Malaysian battle, Lewis Cornish and Khairi Zakaria pursued until the end of the race. Khairi was only a second behind the Briton but slowly losing his pace and ended with a seven seconds gap with Lewis.

“I was exhausted after Moto 1. I was struggling due to the weather condition. In addition, the 20 minutes + 2 laps format was really demanding. I have never felt anything like this before, especially riding for more than 20 laps in a race. I endured the first five laps to close the gap between Lewis and distant myself from Trakarn. If that did not happen, I might not be in the second position at the moment,” said Khairi.

“I almost attain the holeshot in the beginning, but the situation was not that promising. Therefore I forego the holeshot, hoping that I could catch up with him [Lewis] after the first corner,” he added.

On the other hand, Lewis mentioned that he was lucky to have a clean start despite facing threats by Khairi. “I was a little tired and stressed in the first few laps. Five minutes into the race, I found my groove and started putting in some fast laps to build the gap between Khairi and I. From there, I just controlled the race.”

“During the warm-up laps when Khairi overtook and led the pack, it did put a little tension on me. Obviously, we would always want to be at the front and ride at my pace, if possible,” Lewis added.

Team Kenny Motorworks Tekmo Racing’s Lewis Cornish completed Moto 1 in 26 laps, the best lap time of 50.854, and a total time of 22:34.210. While 23 Motor Racing Team’s Khairi Zakaria completed the race in 26 laps, the best time of 51.280 and a total time of 22:56.705.

Having distant from the leader, Khairi Zakaria was met with a new rival. Thailand’s Trakarn Thangthong was merely a second behind the Malaysian rider, putting more pressure on the Malaysian.

“It was a tough race because the weather was scorching and there were too many riders on this tight track. I made many minor mistakes in almost every corner,” said Trakarn.

“After the flag off, I had an opportunity to take the holeshot, but was stolen by Lewis and blocked by Khairi. I was at least two seconds behind Khairi after the first few laps, but slowly the gap opened because of the silly mistakes in every corner. Hopefully, it would not repeat for Moto 2,” he added.

Team K45 Maxima Supermoto Racing’s Trakarn Thangthong completed Moto 1 in 26 laps, the best time of 51.422 and a total time of 23:05.095.

While the trio continued to lead the pack, Malaysia’s ace and 2016 season champion Gabit Saleh was faced with a different challenge and contender. Japan’s Takashi Sasaki continues to tail the Malaysian until the end of the race, with a tight gap that makes no room for mistakes for Gabit.

“On the first to the fifth lap, I tried to follow Trakarn, but it did not last long. At the sixth lap, I could not catch up anymore. My bike’s setting is not suitable for this race as the highly technical track require Slipper Clutch that I do not have,” said Gabit.

“I depleted my energy in Moto 1. I cannot feel my clutch and my brakes, and my arms were losing grip. Hopefully, by keeping it consistent, I can follow through in Moto 2,” he added.

“I almost had a smooth cornering at the first corner, but Khairi was blocking and that also allowed Trakarn to take my position. On the fifth lap, my rear tire lost its grip, and the hot weather hardened the tires,” concluded Gabit.

Sasaki remained decisive in the race despite losing it to Habibullah. “My arms were fatigued, and I broke away from him. I will concentrate on the start to take a good position and maintain it throughout the race.”

KTM Malaysia ELF Racing Team’s Muhd Habibullah completed Moto 1 in a total of 26 laps, the best time of 51.827 and a total time of 23:14.250. While Team KYT Autorace Global Riders’ Takashi Sasaki completed the race with a total of 26 laps, the best time of 51.840 and a total time of 23:20.865.

The top six for Moto 1 was completed by United Kingdom’s Lewis Cornish, Malaysia’s Khairi Zakaria, Thailand’s Trakarn Thangthong, Malaysia’s Gabit Saleh, Japan’s Takashi Sasaki and Indonesia’s Farudila Adam.

Trakarn Thangthong

Moto 2 Race Report
Line-ups on the grid were surely brought forth an aura that silenced the crowd, as every rider were in full focus for the final race of the Indonesia round. However, the dream to pursue the race ended for Indonesia’s ace Farhan Hendro as he fails to start his bike, giving him a DNS for the race.

Meanwhile, while things might seem bright for the top riders, a mistake by Thailand’s Trakarn Thangthong took his chance to top the Asian Class podium as he was penalised with a 15-second jump-start penalty.

However, that did not deter his focus on the race as he accelerates to gain his fourth position on the first lap.

“The jump start was a bad mistake that took away 15 seconds off my total time, but I managed to catch up and be one of the front riders. I knew I had to catch up to them especially when Habibullah, Lewis and Khairi are leading the race,” Trakarn said.

He added that he had fewer mistakes in Moto 2 compared to Moto 1 which was an advantage for him in the second race. “Khairi nearly caught up with a difference of less than 0.1 seconds at the finish line. But it was the jump-start penalty that gave him the advantage in the Moto 2 result.”

Team K45 Maxima Supermoto Racing’s Trakarn Thangthong finished third in Moto 2 with a total of 25 laps, the best time of 51.687 and a total time of 22:09.578.

Malaysia’s Muhd Habibullah had a fantastic start in Moto 2 with a shocking holeshot against riders such as Lewis Cornish and Khairi Zakaria. However, his motorcycle that is unfit for this circuit dragged his position down to the fourth spot on the tenth lap, giving Lewis, Khairi, and Trakarn the advantage to lead the race.

Despite settling for fourth, Muhd Habibullah was left behind with a seven-second gap behind Khairi and Trakarn. It was not easy to race without a Slipper Gear, but he managed to ride through the finish line. “It was exhausting. While taking the pole position was a fabulous advantage, I knew I would fall behind because of my machine and stamina. I tried to block Lewis, Trakarn and Khairi but I began losing my strength from the fifth lap onwards.”

“I made a mistake at the first corner on the fifth lap that allowed Lewis to steal my position. However, having Sasayan behind really pushed me to maintain my pace. Knowing that it might be jeopardised, I endured through the pressure and pain to get to the Asian Class podium,” he added.

KTM Malaysia’s ELF Racing Team’s Muhd Habibullah completed Moto 2 in 25 laps, the best lap time of 52.389 and a total time of 22:22.381.

However, Malaysia’s Khairi Zakaria had his eyes on the podium since the beginning of the race. Completing the race in second for both Moto 1 and Moto 2, Khairi managed to take the second podium spot in the International Open Class, and the top spot in the Asian Class, making him the first Malaysian to sit on both podiums this season.

“It was unfortunate that I did not get the holeshot. I started a little slower, and I almost collided with Gabit on the fifth lap. This was the consequence when Gabit and I tried to take Trakarn’s position at the same time.”

“I was tailing Trakarn throughout the race but could not find any opening for to overtake Trakarn due to the difficult and tight track. I cannot take any risks unless if I was sure that I could outdo him,” he added.

23 Motor Racing Team’s Khairi Zakaria completed Moto 2 in 25 laps, the best lap time of 51.858 and a total time of 21:54.670.

Lewis Cornish was all smiles when he shot through the finish line of Moto 2. With the surging acceleration, cautious and highly strategised ride, he won the race with a stunning 3 second ahead of Khairi Zakaria and Trakarn Thangthong.

“It is definitely more challenging in Moto 2. Habibullah got onto a flying start and took everybody with a surprise. Thankfully I was able to take his position. But I caught on to a few lappers quite badly that slowed me down, ended up with a few mistakes trying to pass them, giving Trakarn and Khairi the chance to close up,” said Lewis.

“I brought it home in the end, and I am happy with the result. I could not be any happier winning the International Open Class again. It was a brilliant event, and I hope that I will continue my winning streak,” he added.

“We have made a few adjustments to the bike for this round, and I hope that these adjustments will help me in the next round,” Lewis concluded.

Team Kenny Motorworks Tekmo Racing’s Lewis Cornish completed Moto 2 in a total of 25 laps, the best lap time of 51.226 and a total time of 21:51.356.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s superstar rider Toni Tata Pradita executed a final push in Moto 2. His performance surged tremendously as he keeps his focus and aims for the podium but ended in a stunning fifth position in the Asian Class despite his first attempt in the FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship.

“I am deeply pleased with the result. I sincerely hope that with this, I will put in more effort and return for a full season participation next year.”

A strong crowd of 35,000 people visited the weekend race in Indonesia. The prize presentation ceremony received resounding cheers for the podium winners, and once again making the FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship in Indonesia a highly successful event.

For more information, visit www.supermotoasia.com.
International Class Podium

International Class Podium

  1. Lewis Cornish – United Kingdom
  2. Khairi Zakaria – Malaysia
  3. Trakarn Thanthong – Thailand
  4. Muhd Habibullah – Malaysia
  5. Takashi Sasaki – Japan

 

Asian Class Podium
Asian Class Podium

  1. Khairi Zakaria – Malaysia
  2. Trakarn Thangthong – Thailand
  3. Muhd Habibullah – Malaysia
  4. Takashi Sasaki – Japan
  5. Doni Tata Pradita – Indonesia

Warm Up Result:

Pos No. National Name Laps Best Time Total Time
1 8 GBR LEWIS CORNISH 18 52.249 28:54.106
2 32 MAS KHAIRI ZAKARIA 10 51.615 11:24.574
3 5 THA TRAKARN THANGTHONG 17 51.679 18:32.817
4 1 MAS MUHD HABIBULLAH 7 51.876 6:43.635
5 101 JPN TAKASHI SASAKI 7 51.961 7:55.722
6 3 INA DONI TATA PRADITA 12 53.254 11:53.377
7 33 INA IVAN HARRY NUGRAHA 12 53.493 12:23.678
8 162 INA FARHAN HENDRO 7 53.655 10:26.956
9 300 JPN NAOTO TAKAYAMA 12 54.270 12:11.982
10 12 PHI KENNETH SAN ANDRES 8 54.282 8:29.181
11 77 SGP HASROY OSMAN 8 54.444 8:12.702
12 7 INA PEDRO WUNER 5 54.698 9:16.641
13 127 INA FARUDILA ADAM 5 55.0480 9:30.878
14 97 RUS ARTEM TESLENKO 12 55.668 15:25.660
15 4 SRI DESHAN SOLANKI 9 57.040 11:48.451
16 720 TPE LIN CHIN PEI 6 57.231 6:39.813
17 55 LAT EDGARS IVUSHKANS 12 57.374 13:00.144
18 66 INA MOMO HARMONO 3 57.608 5:31.135
19 40 TPE LEE WEI 6 57.661 7:00.587
20 9 IND RUGVED BARGUJE 11 57.949 12:26.831
21 102 HKG TSANG WAI KEI 8 1:05.052 10:39.467
DNS 27 CHN SUN TONG 0 0 0

Moto 1 Result:

Pos No. National Name Laps Best Time Total Time
1 8 GBR LEWIS CORNISH 26 50.854 22:34.210
2 32 MAS KHAIRI ZAKARIA 26 51.280 22:56.705
3 5 THA TRAKARN THANGTHONG 26 51.422 23:05.095
4 1 MAS MUHD HABIBULLAH 26 51.827 23:14.250
5 101 JPN TAKASHI SASAKI 26 51.840 23:20.865
6 127 INA FARUDILA ADAM 26 52.772 23:31.843
7 300 JPN NAOTO TAKAYAMA 25 52.987 22:36.325
8 97 RUS ARTEM TESLENKO 25 55.116 22:40.865
9 3 INA DONI TATA PRADITA 25 53.144 22:44.640
10 162 INA FARHAN HENDRO 25 52.915 23:01.248
11 9 IND RUGVED BARGUJE 24 56.892 23:24.225
12 55 LAT EDGARS IVUSHKANS 23 56.611 22:34.161
13 77 SGP HASROY OSMAN 23 54.685 22:50.093
14 27 CHN SUN TONG 23 57.075 23:11.599
15 12 PHI KENNETH SAN ANDRES 23 54.3074 23:19.436
16 720 TPE LIN CHIN PEI 22 57.296 22:41.903
17 102 HKG TSANG WAI KEI 19 1:00.655 23:01.275
DNF 4 SRI DESHAN SOLANKI 7 56.840 8:15.328
DNF 66 INA MOMO HARMONO 7 57.365 8:20.902
DNF 7 INA PEDRO WUNER 2 55.785 2:21.145
DNF 33 INA IVAN HARRY NUGRA 0 0 2.750
DNF 40 TPE LEE WEI 0 0 2.894

Moto 2 Result:

Pos No. National Name Laps Best Time Total Time
1 8 GBR LEWIS CORNISH 25 51.226 21:51.356
2 32 MAS KHAIRI ZAKARIA 25 51.858 21:54.670
3 5 THA TRAKARN THANGTHONG 25 51.687 22:09.578
4 1 MAS MUHD HABIBULLAH 25 52.389 22:22.381
5 101 JPN TAKASHI SASAKI 25 52.145 22:28.087
6 3 INA DONI TATA PRADITA 25 53.248 22:40.148
7 300 JPN NAOTO TAKAYAMA 24 53.788 21:55.981
8 12 PHI KENNETH SAN ANDRES 24 53.906 22:10.559
9 127 INA FARUDILA ADAM 24 53.334 22:13.203
10 97 RUS ARTEM TESLENKO 24 54.581 22:32.125
11 7 INA PEDRO WUNER 23 55.691 22:14.276
12 55 LAT EDGARS IVUSHKANS 23 56.407 22:19.464
13 27 CHN SUN TONG 23 56.177 22:27.149
14 720 TPE LIN CHIN PEI 22 56.317 22:05.774
15 40 TPE LEE WEI 22 57.331 22:45.194
DNF 77 SGP HASROY OSMAN 19 54.268 17:24.971
DNF 4 SRI DESHAN SOLANKI 19 56.897 20:28.925
DNF 9 IND RUGVED BARGUJE 14 57.139 13:55.201
DNF 66 INA MOMO HARMONO 6 58.384 6:54.577
DNF 102 HKG TSANG WAI KEI 3 58.807 3:06.493
DNS 162 INA FARHAN HENDRO 0 0 0
DNS 33 INA IVAN HARRY NUGRAHA 0 0 0

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