Malaysian duo Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman and Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi have emerged as favourites to win the 2016 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship season opener at the Johor Circuit in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia. The two former team mates were consistently at the top of the SuperSports 600cc timesheets over the first two days of pre-season tests.
Azlan, now racing for team BikeART Kawasaki Racing, have constantly improved his laptimes with each practice session and is now the fastest rider on the grid with 1’31.616s. MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda’s Zaqhwan was the only other rider in the 600cc class to punch through the 1 minute 32 second barrier. Zaqhwan clocked 1’31.790s, the second fastest rider in the class to date. Tomoyoshi Koyama was third fastest with 1’32.052s.
Azlan races one of four Kawasaki bikes in the SuperSports 600cc class. Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing’s Andy Muhammad Fadly and Ahmad Yudhistira were 6th and 7th fastest respectively after two days of practice.
Meanwhile, defending champion Yuki Takahashi who was third fastest on Day 1, has dropped down to ninth overall position as the majority of riders improved on their lap records. Takahashi was absent on Day 2 of the pre-season test.
Quote by Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman: There is still plenty of work to be done. For the second day of the pre-season test, our objective was to go at race pace and test the difference in durability between the medium and soft compound tyres. We also have some more mapping work to do because the bike is responding adversely to the hot weather.
Day 2 Pre-Season Test Results:
1. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (MAS), 1’31.616s; 2. Md Zaqhwan Zaidi (MAS), 1’31.790s; 3. Tomoyoshi Koyama (JPN), 1’32.052s; 4. Jakkrit Sawangswat (THA), 1’32.508s; 5. Ratthapong Wilairot (THA), 1’32.511s; 6. Andy Muhammad Fadly (INA), 1’32.525s; 7. Ahmad Yudhistira (INA), 1’32.551s; 8. Thitipong Warokorn (THA), 1’32.618s; 9. Yuki Takahashi (JPN), 1’32.924s; 10. Dimas Ekky Pratama (INA), 1’32.942s