After his convincing qualifying performance, pole man Takehiro Yamamoto bogged down his twin engined Honda on the line, dropping down to eighth position during lap 1 as Gerry Salim, Anuparb Sarmoon, Boonlert, Luiboonpeng and Galang Hendra Pratama rushed past. The 2015 champion recovered by lap 3 to get briefly to the front of the leading pack of six bikes, which had begun to create a gap back to Pratama.
Behind them Tomoyoshi Koyama led the second group which, by lap six had engulfed Boonlert and Luiboonpeng as the two Astra Hondas of Salim and Rheza, the Sidrap Honda of Yamamoto and the Yamaha Thailand R25 of Anuparb got away at the front. Despite the lead swapping continuously, it was Salim who looked the most convincing during his stints in the lead.
From Turn 4 on the last lap Salim and Anuparb created a small gap to Rheza and Yamamoto, but, as they got to Chang International’s formidable final corner, they bunched together once again. As the four bikes squirmed under braking it could have been anyone’s victory, but it was Salim who got the power down best to take a narrow win from Anuparb, with Rheza getting half a wheel in front of Yamamoto to take third place. The next group was 8.5 seconds further back and led over the line by the Astra Honda of Awhin Sanjaya, just in front of the RAMA Honda of Koyama who made it five Hondas in the top six.
Despite the exceptional performance of Anuparb, Yamaha will spend the evening pouring over data from today’s race to find more than one an answer to the dominance of Honda’s parallel twin powered CBR250RR.