A season of twists and turns in the SuperSports 600cc class of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship and suddenly, Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi finds himself back in the championship lead again.
Zaqhwan, who is also the defending champion of the class, did not look particularly strong at the start of the season. Instead, it was Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman who became the hot favourite for the title. But Azlan was unable to sustain his winning momentum beyond Round 2. He crashed and injured himself twice during the season. Meanwhile, Zaqhwan’s performance peaked with two race wins out of five podiums.
As Zaqhwan and his peers head to the Chang International Circuit for the final round, the MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda rider leads the pack with 138 points.
This is not the first time in Zaqhwan’s career when circumstances outside of his control had turned matters in his favour. In 2014, Zaqhwan won the SuperSports 600cc title by one point ahead of Yuki Ito. Ito was a strong contender for the title that year. But at the last lap of the final round, Zaqhwan’s team mate Mohd Zamri Baba crowded Ito off the racing line and ushered Zaqhwan into the winning position.
On this Day – 2 years agoSS600 Championship was decided on the FINAL LAP of the season.Remarkable! #throwbackthursday
Posted by Asia Road Racing Championship on 15hb Disember 2016
In 2016, the SuperSports 600cc title was a toss-up between Tomoyoshi Koyama and Zaqhwan. The title chase had narrowed down to the two riders and whichever one finished ahead of the other, would be the winner. Koyama had been the stronger of the two during the race weekend. Nobody would have guessed that the Japanese rider would fail to finish the race due to an engine malfunction.
As the countdown begins for the finale at the Chang International Circuit, the question remains: will Zaqhwan’s luck hold for a third time?