Mohd Helmi Azman came out tops in the Underbone 150 qualifier as Round 1 of the 2018 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship got underway.
With Moto3 slicks fitted onto the Underbone bikes for the first time, the SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda Racing Team rider was able to bank on his previous Asia Talent Cup experience to get ahead of the competition. Helmi posted 2’01.998s, the only rider to lap under the 2’02.
“Because I was already familiar with the tyre characteristics, I was able to perform the moment I got on track. There was no need for me to experiment with different settings or lines,” said Helmi who seemed to have fitted in comfortably with his new team. Prior to this weekend, Helmi had been vacillating between several options before finally settling on the SCK outfit.
Helmi’s closest competitor, fellow Malaysian Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa, clocked 2’02.206s. Also within the 2 minute 2 seconds range, were Gupita Kresna Wardhana (third fastest with 2’02.236s) and Mohd Izzat Zaidi fourth with 2’02.786s. Mohd Adib Rosley ended the qualifying session with 2’03.046s and rounded up the top five.
Defending champion, Mohd Akid Aziz, got off to a rocky start but managed to make the top-10 cut for the SuperPole when he qualified eighth fastest with 2’03.273s.
Indonesian ace, Wahyu Aji Trilaksana, was also one of the faster riders on the grid with 2’02.230s but unfortunately his results were excluded due to a technical infringement.
The use of the Moto3 tyres on the Underbone bikes continued to fascinate fans in the region. The specifications of the tyres are as follows:
|Rec. Rim (in)
|Rim Range (in)||2.15 – 2.50||2.75 – 3.50|
|Centre Diameter (mm)||578||601|
|Cold Pressure (kPa)||160 – 210||170 – 220|
|Hot Pressure (kPa)||180 – 230||190 – 240|