POLE-TO-FLAG, ANUPAB DRAWS FIRST BLOOD

Yamaha Thailand Racing Team’s Anupab Sarmoon, a fourth-season contender in the Asia Production 250cc class, drew on every ounce of his experience to come up tops in the first race of the season.

The Asia Production 250cc class had always been notorious for its no-holds-barred dogfight at the sharp end of the grid. With 13 riders battling for P1 in a 10-lap melee to the finish line, the polesitter found himself fending off attacks at every corner from the likes of Muklada Sarapuech, newcomer Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi, Indonesia’s Rheza Danica Ahrens, and Andy Muhammad Fadly.

With no particular rider dominating the 10-lap race, the notorious last corner at the Chang International Circuit became the deciding factor of the race. Anupab nimbly avoided a particularly aggressive move from Muklada Sarapuech who had earlier succeeded in forcing Mario Suryo Aji off the racing line.

The Yamaha rider then neatly held his lines to the finish line to pick up his first win of the season with 19’14.601s. Muklada was second across the chequered flag followed by MarioSuryo Aji.

However, Muklada’s actions from Turn 9 to Turn 10 had prompted an immediate investigation into the results. Consequently, race officials penalized the AP Honda Thailand rider and she dropped five positions to P7. Muklada was further fined with a 3-point championship points deduction for unsporting behaviour.

Mario was promoted to P2, followed by his team mate Rheza Danica Ahrens in third.