Becoming Asia’s Top 600cc Team
For every time the riders go out on track for the title hunt, a parallel but invisible race happens in the Asian paddocks – the race to win the title as the best Asian team in their race category.
In 2017, the Asia Production 250cc team title had been sealed by the Astra Honda Racing Team while team UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor picked up the Underbone 150cc team title.
As for the SuperSports 600cc category, five teams are in contention for the crown as the season finale looms at the Chang International Circuit this December 2 and 3. While MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing’s Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi leads the riders championship, it is team Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing that tops the teams standings with 155 points.
Teams pick up points through their best performing rider in every race. In the case of team Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing, the team could pick up points from either Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman or Ahmad Yudhistira, depending on which rider finishes higher in any particular race.
Having two experienced riders in their stable had given the Kawasaki outfit a nominal edge over its closest competitors. After five rounds of competition, the Indonesian-based team has a 9-point advantage.
Their closest rival is team MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing. The Malaysian team had opted for a senior-rookie combination in 2017. Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi is racing for the first time as lead rider this season. In the past, Zaqhwan had always had a senior rider or at the very least a peer of similar experiences. This year, Zaqhwan is paired with SuperSports 600cc rookie Teppei Nagoe. This meant that team MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing is completely reliant on the points accumulated by Zaqhwan in their quest to win their sixth consecutive SuperSports 600cc team title.
Just as Yuki Ito and Taiga Hada are tied in second overall on the riders’ chart, their teams, team Yamaha Racing and RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten10 Racing are tied in third overall with 140 points each.
Yamaha Thailand Racing Team has a mathematical chance, hovering in fifth overall with 115 points. The Thai team is 40 points adrift of the leading pack but they may be able to improve on their rankings. This is especially because the final race will take place on home ground.