With Izzat Zaidi second in the standings and declared unfit to ride, the focus of Underbone fans for Race 2 was whether SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda’s Helmi Azman could clinch the 2018 championship by finishing first or second at Sentul.
In a race that featured a good deal more wheel-to-wheel combat than we had seen in Race 1, the Malaysian championship leader kept himself clear of danger for most of the race, staying within striking distance of the front of a leading group that consisted initially of five, then 11 bikes as the bunch behind took advantage of the battle at the front. Gupita Kresna, who finished third in Race 1, only made it to the first corner; Travis Hall was another noteable first lap crasher.
After a poor showing on Saturday, the UMA Racing Yamahas of Haziq Fairues and Akid Aziz made their presence felt, trying to break away on occasion, but without success. Wildcards, Agung Fahrul and Wawan Wello, also kept themselves in contention.
Helmi was well placed on the last lap, until a bike got out of shape in front of him forcing him to slow and change direction. He had to settle for sixth, while Haziq, Agung and Akid crossed the line together, separated by an almost imperceptible five hundredths of a second. Wawan took fourth ahead of Reza Fahlevi, Helmi and Adib Rosley. Amirul Ariff Musa, Wahyu Nugroho and Iaham Elsan Efendi rounded out the top ten. It was another bad day at the office for 2016 champion, Wahyu Aji Trilaksana, who could only finish 14th.
Helmi, with 164 points will take a championship lead over Izzat of 42 to Thailand at for the sixth and final round. Ahmad Fazli Sham and Akid Aziz lie fourth and fifth with 87 and 83 points respectively.