Thai rider Punchana Kulrojchalalai has successfully sealed the 2017 Suzuki Asian Challenge title despite finishing third in Race 1. Racing on home ground at Round 6 of the 2017 Idemitsu FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, Punchana was able to use his knowledge of the circuit to pick up his seventh podium of the year.
The final round of the season brought an extended grid for the Suzuki talent development programme with alumni Patis Chooprathet and Jagan Kumar returning for a wildcard stint.
Patis retained much of his vim and vinegar, easily dominating the proceedings to cap off with a race win with a time of 15’57.901s. Philippines rider April King Mascardo finished second with 15’58.166s. Punchana stopped the clock at 15’58.211s.
Japanese rider Tetsuya Fujita, who was also one of the title contenders, finished fourth. Fujita’s lack of experience put him at a disadvantage when he was seen leading for the majority of the 7-lap race. With the weight of the group dragging him down, Fujita was unable to respond when the group broke out of the slipstream and dashed past him to the finish line.
Punchana brought his points haul to 155 points. April King is now second overall with 126 points while Fujita is third with 116 points.