Team Yamaha Thailand Racing followed up a strong performance in the SuperSports 600cc class with equally dominant results in the Asia Production 250cc category. With defending champion Apiwat Wongthananon jetting off for the Spanish Championship this season, Anupab Sarmoon proved himself an able replacement when he logged the fastest time of 01’43.469s. Anupab’s best time has become the new lap record for the Johor Circuit, smashing Apiwat’s previous laptime of 01’44.959s by more than a second.
Indonesians Rheza Danica Ahrens and Gerry Salim, both from team Astra Honda Racing, clocked the second and third fastest time of the session astride their brand new Honda CBR250RR. Newcomer Rheza posted 01’43.536s ahead of Gerry’s 01’44.432s.
Honda’s intent to win the AP250 title in 2017 was glaringly clear with as many as two SuperSports 600cc riders being moved to spearhead their challenge in the 250cc class. These were Tomoyoshi Koyama who narrowly missed out on the SuperSports 600cc title last year as well as Gerry Salim who delivered a stunning 600cc double win in Indonesia.
Nevertheless, the Yamaha camp has been able to keep abreast of the developments. Anupab’s Yamaha Thailand Racing team mate Peerapong Loiboonpeng clocked fourth fastest with 01’44.432s while Galang Hendra Pratama representing Yamaha Racing Indonesia posted fifth fastest with 01’44.520s.
2015 AP250 Champion, Takehiro Yamamoto, who will be racing in team Sidrap Honda Ikazuchi colours this season, was sixth fastest with 01’44.534s.