Championship leader Helmi Azman shrugged off assumptions of local superiority to top both free practice and qualifying on Friday. The Malaysian took his SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda around Sentul’s tricky 3.964km in 1:48.692, almost seven tenths faster than Yuzy Honda Vietnam’s Amirul Ariff Musa, who was just clear of Indonesian wildcards, Agung Fahrul and Reza Fahlevi. Gupita Kresna was fifth on the SND Factory Yamaha, while Adib Rosley was sixth for RCB Yamaha YY Pang. Two other wildcards, Rusman Fadhil and Wawan Wello made it to Superpole, as did 2017 champion, Akid Aziz, who was the last rider through on 1:50.447.
Shock news was that 2016 champion, Wahyu Aji Trilaksana was 18th and will therefore miss the shootout for the first 15 grid slots. Travis Hall, riding with a strapped up arm from an injury he picked up in Australia, managed 1:51.121 on his Sentul debut and will start from 20th for SCK Rapido. United Oil’s Miu Nakahara, also on her first trip to Indonesia, was outside of the 107% Qualifying maxima and will take no further part this weekend.