The spate of injuries that scourged through the SuperSports 600cc class during Round 4 in Sentul has thankfully come to an end. With Round 5 soon to take off at the Buddh International Circuit in India this October 1 and 2, the big guns are finally back on the grid, and raring to go.
Most significant would be the return of title contenders Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman and defending champion Yuki Takahashi. Both pulled out before the commencement of Round 4 due to injuries sustained in previous races. This allowed MUSASHI Boon Siew Honda’s Zaqhwan Zaidi and T.Pro Yuzy Honda NTS with Wow’s Tomoyoshi Koyama to turn the title chase around. Both riders currently share the top spot with 131 points apiece.
Yuki Takahashi has dropped to third overall with 104 points, needing to make up a 27-point deficit in order to be back in title contention. Takahashi is on a dual mission this season – to bring home team MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda’s fifth consecutive Asian title as well as to become the first rider since 2006 to win the SuperSports 600cc crown back to back.
Azlan Shah fared worse, falling to fifth overall with 89 points. Azlan would have his work cut out for him and will literally need to string together four wins in the remaining two rounds just to keep the slim thread of hope alive.
The only piece of good news for Azlan is that there will be one less rider in his way at the Indian leg of the season. Dimas Ekky Pratama is forced to skip the Indian round due to conflicting race schedules.