Yamaha Thailand Racing’s golden rider, Apiwat Wongthananon, scored his second double-win of the season at the Suzuka Circuit, host to Round 3 of the 2016 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship.
Race 2 in the Asia Production 250cc category unfolded according to script for the Thai rider when a good start placed him at the front of the group with Takehiro Yamamoto and Ayumu Tanaka. The remainder of the 8-lap race progressed in a similar pattern to Race 1 with Apiwat cooly dealing with pressure from the two Japanese aces. The race was again won at the last chicane when Apiwat slipped past Yamamoto and sprinted to the finish line with a time of 20’07.079ss. The frustrated team mates Yamamoto and Tanaka were again forced to accept their second and third place positions with times of 20’07.495s and 20’07.692s respectively.
“Race 2 was a little easier because Takahashi Yasuda never made it to the front group. In Race 1, I had to deal with a 3-on-1 situation but today, it was just two against one. My race strategy was set very early in the race when I saw that Yamamoto had not learnt his lessons from Race 1. He was still displaying the same weakness at the chicane. I knew then that if I kept up the pressure, he would run wide at the last lap,” said Apiwat.
This latest victory is Apiwat’s fifth win in the 2016 season so far. The Thai rider has collected 136 points after three rounds and is sitting pretty at the top with a 46-point margin ahead of Yamamoto.