Yuki Ito and the Yamaha Racing Team Asean has succeeded in their efforts to unlock the true potential of the 2017 Yamaha R6. Ito has been a strong contender throughout the SuperSports 600cc free practice sessions at Round 2 of the ARRC at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia. He further sealed his dominance when he took his Yamaha to pole position with a fast lap of 1’56.591s.
In the absence of podium regulars Anthony West and Zaqhwan Zaidi, defending champion Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman saw Round 2 as an opportunity to bend the title chase in his favour. Instead, the Malaysian rider has been facing problems with his Kawasaki and uncharacteristically, qualified only P11 in the Australian round.
West’s super-sub, BSB rider Joseph Francis, proved to be the right choice for team Webike Ikazuchi Racing. The British rider qualified second on the grid with 1’56.690s. Idemitsu Honda Racing India by T.Pro Ten10’s Taiga Hada slipped into the last position on the front grid. Hada clocked third fastest with 1’56.710s.
Rookie Kasma Daniel Kasmayuddin served up the biggest surprise in the SuperSports 600cc qualifying. After a creditable full-season debut in Thailand, Kasma netted a blazing 1’56.736s to qualify for P4. The young Malaysian rider will lead the second row ahead of seasoned campaigners Tomoyoshi Koyama and Decha Kraisart on P5 and P6 respectively.
Ratthapong Wilairot, Irfan Ardiansyah, Ahmad Yudhistira, and Mohd Ramdan Rosli rounded up the top 10.