Battle of the Champions
UNITED KINGDOM’S LEWIS CORNISH TAKES POLE IN MOTO 1
- United Kingdom’s Lewis Cornish, Thailand’s Trakan Thangthong, Malaysia’s Khairi Zakaria and Muhd Habibullah competes for pole position in Indonesia in SuperChrono.
- Malaysia’s Khairi outshines and outperform, landing second on Moto 1 starting grid.
- Former Moto2 World Championship and 250cc Grand Prix World Championship race rider, Indonesia’s Doni Tata Pradita, competes with top riders.
- Japan’s duo Takashi Sasaki and Naoto Takayama surprises crowd with top 6 in the grid.
- Thailand’s Trakarn Thangthong faces suspension difficulties, takes third in Moto 1 grid.
CENTRAL JAVA, INDONESIA, 13 OCTOBER 2017 – The 2017 FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship – Indonesia round started with a bright morning and a cooling breeze, easing the final bike fix for all riders. The torrential downpour the night before created a treacherous off-road table-top section that worries the riders. However, the Official Free Practice proved otherwise.
Riders pondered on challenges amidst the tight track 900-meter track with a triple off-road section. Having the third off-road table-top section that measures at an approximate height of 1.5-meters, similar to a motocross berm, the 2017 FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship riders braved through the track and created a superb SuperMoto weekend for the spectators and global fans.
Free Practice Report
Chart leader United Kingdom’s Lewis Cornish and Thailand’s Trakarn Thangthong kick-started the practice with a boisterous brawl between the top two riders. The duo continued to dominate the track as if the race has begun by challenging the each other in every tight corner.
In the penultimate lap, Lewis was seen slipping at the final turn into the finish line but managed to gain his balance and continued to finish the Free Practice. Team Kenny Motorworks Tekmo Racing’s Lewis Cornish topped the Free Practice Round with 18 laps, the best lap time of 52.249 and a total time of 28:54.106.
Team K45 Maxima SuperMoto Racing’s Trakan Thangthong came in second with a total of 19 laps, the best lap time of 52.888 and a total time of 24:12.581.
“The track is concise and very tight to pass the other riders due to the length and width. Moreover, the jumps are very slippery because of the rain yesterday night,” said Trakarn.
Malaysia’s ace and 2016 champion Muhd Habibullah completed fifth in Free Practice and uttered that the track is too tight to overtake.
“The track is very challenging compared to other tracks due to the brick flooring instead of the regular asphalt flooring. There is much bumping due to the rough track, making my bike unstable. I will improve this by changing my casing line and have to hold back on my aggressiveness to ensure stability,” said Habibullah.
Team KTM Malaysia ELF Racing Team‘s Muhd Habibullah completed the Qualifying and SuperChrono race with a total of 9 laps, the best lap time of 53.244 and a total race time of 13:03.066.
Whereas Habibullah’s Malaysian counterpart and 2013 champion, #32 Khairi Zakaria, seemed to get a hold of the track with his significant motocross background. Khairi emerged third on the Free Practice lap and held promises in entering the top 6 in the Qualifying round.
23 Motor Racing Team’s Khairi Zakaria completed with a total of 12 laps, the best lap time of 53.046 and a total race time of 17:24.827.
Newcomer and wildcard rider, Indonesia’s superstar rider Doni Tata Pradita, a Superbike rider for the 250cc Grand Prix World Championship race, joined the Asia SuperMoto Championship to pursue his dreams in this discipline. Also a Moto2 World Championship rider in 2013, Doni had his eyes on the Malaysian duo since the start of the race.
“I fell in love with SuperMoto since my local competition in Indonesia. Therefore I have signed up to join the Asia Championship as a wildcard and hopefully, I will be joining the full season next year,” said Doni.
“The main rivals I have on track would be Habibullah and Khairi, as well as the other top riders. They are skillfull and I hope that I will stand on the podium at the end of this round,” added Doni.
Doni completed the Free Practice race with 18 laps, the best lap time of 54.347 and a total time of 20:32.464. He stands on the sixth place in Free Practice.
With the tight track and competitive circuit, stealing the pole position for Moto 1 and Moto 2 will be highly advantageous to lead the race. However, leading the race while crossing the lappers might give an advantage for the other riders to close the gap.
Lewis Cornish, Trakarn Thangthong, Khairy Zakaria, Takashi Sasaki, Muhd Habibullah and Indonesia’s superstar Doni Tata Pradita completes the top 6 of the Free Practice round.
Qualifying and SuperChrono Report
The Qualifying result has turned the tables for the Japanese duo who have shown stunning skills and performance, soaring through the track and landed a spot in SuperChrono. #101 Takashi Sasaki and #300 Naoto Takayama’s underperformance in Thailand last September showed that the duo is ready to conquer the Indonesia round.
Takashi and Naoto mentioned that the duo had undergone rigorous training after the Thailand race and more modifications on their machines to achieve this result. “We are delighted with the improvements. Our bikes were in optimum condition, and our skills were proven useful. We hope that we will take the podium for the first time tomorrow,” said Takayama.
However, during the SuperChrono race, Takashi admitted that he lost focus and would require the motivation to compete with a rider to improve his pace. “I had to tail Trakarn and Lewis just to get my pace back. However, I am happy with the results,” said Sasaki.
Team KYT Autorace Global Riders’ Takashi Sasaki and Naoto Takayama completed the Qualifying with a total of 13 and laps; best lap time of 52.469 and 53.205; and a total time of 26:59.452 and 30:30.807 respectively.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s ace Muhd Habibullah said that he is dissatisfied with his bike set-up. “I had a few problems with my bike that I cannot fix. I even fell on the penultimate corner. The suspension settings and tire pressures were increased for SuperChrono.”
“My motorcycle is not fully converted to a SuperMoto bike. This race would also require a slipper clutch that I do not have. Therefore I was very tired during the race. But I will try my best to take the top position once again tomorrow,” he added.
Team KTM Malaysia ELF Racing’s Muhd Habibullah completed the Qualifying and SuperChrono with a total of 14 and 11 laps, the best lap time of 52.345 for both races; and a total time of 20:17.577 and 10:45.036 respectively.
On the other hand, Khairi Zakaria that outperformed Habibullah and takes the second grid position says that he is very confident with this race. “It was the bumpy ride on the track that made it difficult. I will try to convert my seat into an underbone motorcycle seat to increase comfort.”
He added that the tight track makes it difficult for the 2013 champion to gain the best time during Qualifying. However, the space given in SuperMoto with only six riders on the track gave him more opportunity to improve his timing.
23 Motor Racing Team’s Khairi Zakaria completed the Qualifying and SuperChrono with a total of 15 and 9 laps; best lap time of 51.575 for both race; and a total time of 23:06.953 and 9:23.137 respectively.
On the eighth lap of the Qualifying round, Indonesia’s veteran rider #7 Pedro Wuner summersault at the threatening final off-road section. He said that he made a mistake by making a seat bounce at the jump. “It was a silly mistake, and it was not supposed to happen. I will try my best tomorrow and hopefully secure a podium.”
Team Smart Samarinda D’Jagung’s Pedro Wuner completed the Qualifying with a total of 8 laps, the best lap time of 54.850 and a total time of 20:06.502.
However, Lewis was surprised as he emerged top and will take the pole position tomorrow. With little to no competition on the track, he rode through the track with a best lap time for both Qualifying and SuperChrono.
“I struggled in the Free Practice yesterday, but we made some good adjustments to the bike by playing around with the tire pressure. We managed to find some good grid at the end, and I was feeling comfortable in the last session which has helped, and hopefully the same will happen tomorrow,” said Lewis.
He added that SuperChrono is a tight race due to the 10 minutes short duration. “It makes it really intense, but it is really good for the fans for the excitement. It was a commendable race for all the riders, as it is not easy to be on the top six.”
“In the first Qualifying session, I missed out the first ten minutes so that I could get a quieter track at the end of the session. However, it was easier to find more space in SuperChrono with only six riders on track.”
Team Kenny Motorworks Tekmo Racing’s Lewis Cornish completed the Qualifying and SuperChrono with a total of 10 and 8 laps; best lap time of 50.838 for both race; and a total time of 18:14.456 and 11:05.363 respectively.
However, it was a sad story as the journey to the top six grid ended for Indonesia’s superstar rider, Doni Tata Pradita. “The set-up of my bike was not perfect. I am still facing problems with my front suspension that reduced my speed. I will make use of tonight, and I will modify to a harder suspension for tomorrow. It was difficult to race today with my machine. I am not happy, but anything can happen tomorrow.”
Team Smart Samarinda HTJRT Core’s Doni Tata Pradita completed the Qualifying with a total of 21 laps, the best lap time of 53.771 and a total time of 27:35.939.
The 2017 FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship will commence at The Park Mall, Kabupaten Sukoharjo, Central Java, Indonesia on 15 October 2017, from 10:00AM – 6:00PM.
Stream the championship live in HD for free at www.twenty3.tv.
For more information, visit www.supermotoasia.com.
FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship is organised by E-Plus Global Sdn Bhd; promoted by Asia Supersports Group; sanctioned by FIM Asia and Indonesian Motor Association (IMI); co-sponsored by Bold Xperience, and supported by Malaysia Major Events, a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia), Kabupaten Sukoharjo, Bikenation Motorsports Sdn Bhd, SMM Asia Holdings, KRACKER Indonesia, The Park Mall, Telkomsel, Telkom, Solo Radio, Fave Hotel, Norifumi, Liputan6.com, Bola.com, Vidio.com, Indriati Hospital, Malay Mail, Kelab Blogger Ben Ashaari, and TX Sports.
Free Practice Result:
|Pos||No.||National||Name||Laps||Best Time||Total Time|
|6||3||INA||DONI TATA PRADITA||18||54.347||20:32.464|
|10||12||PHI||KENNETH SAN ANDRES||10||55.771||14:24.199|
|13||33||INA||IVAN HARRY NUGRAHA||8||57.461||15:26.178|
|15||720||TPE||LIN CHIN PEI||9||57.804||13:05.113|
|22||102||HKG||TSANG WAI KEI||10||1:10.359||20:27.677|
|Pos||No.||National||Name||Laps||Best Time||Total Time|
|9||3||INA||DONI TATA PRADITA||21||53.771||27:35.939|
|10||12||PHI||KENNETH SAN ANDRES||21||53.876||30:30.795|
|14||33||INA||IVAN HARRY NUGRAHA||7||55.599||24:41.911|
|20||720||TPE||LIN CHIN PEI||9||57.446||9:28.986|
|22||102||HKG||TSANG WAI KEI||7||1:09.935||11:39.774|
|Pos||No.||National||Name||Laps||Best Time||Total Time|