Ahmad Fazli Sham again came out tops in the unpredictable Underbone 150cc category. After delighting the ONEXOX TKKR Racing Team with their first win in Race 1, the seasoned campaigner added to the team’s celebrations by making it a double. Completing the 10-lap race with a time of 18’59.247s, Fazli put up a masterclass in defensive racing as he beat Mohd Helmi Azman to the chequered flag by 0.108s.
As the Underbone 150cc riders lined up for Race 2, Fazli was once again faced with the prospect of starting from the back end of the grid. However, this was a negligible disadvantage in the Underbone class. By Lap 3, he had arrived to spoil the party in the front group. As Fazli engaged Helmi, Mohd Affendi Rosli and Peerapong Luiboonpeng for the lead, the formidable UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team trio (Mohd Akid Aziz, Mohd Haziq Mohd Fairues and McKinley Kyle Paz) had dropped off the pace. The grid lost another rider when Fakhrusy Syakirin Rostam pitted on Lap 5.
By Lap 6, Fazli had a 1-second lead but was unable to shake clear of Helmi Azman. The two duelling riders soon extended a lead at the front. Behind them, Travis Hall finally got into the Underbone rhythm when he challenged team mates Affendi Rosli and Peerapong Luiboonpeng for P3.
The two race leaders pulled the lead to two seconds by Lap 8 and as their battle intensified in the final lap, Fazli put up a rock solid defense against Helmi’s attacks.
More drama ensued in the second group when Peerapong Luiboonpeng low-sided on the final lap. The Thai rider crashed into Affendi Rosli, simultaneously taking out both Team One For All riders. Travis Hall became the first Australian rider to step onto the Underbone podium in third place.
Mohd Adib Rosley and Mohd Aiman Azman finished 4th and 5th respectively while Mohd Izzat Zaidi, Wahyu Aji Trilaksana, Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa, Syafieq Aiman and Miu Nakahara completed the top 10.
Helmi Azman’s double podium in Chennai has brought his championship points up to 134 points. Mohd Izzat Zaidi, still in second overall, has lost some traction in the title chase with 111 points. Fazli Sham jumps up to third overall with 88 points.