Australian rider Anthony West continued to dominate at the Buddh International Circuit, host to Round 5 of the 2016 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship. The international rider who has had vast experience in the WSBK and MotoGP, clocked fastest during the first day of practice and secured his maiden ARRC pole position on Saturday morning with 1’55.528s. The 35-year-old went on to convert his start position into his first ARRC win.
The SuperSports 600cc race was eventful at the start, especially when Thai rookie Patis Chooprathet crashed on the front straight at the end of Lap 1. Though the rider was uninjured, the incident brought out the red flag. The race was eventually restarted but reduced to 13 laps from its original 16. Only Thai rider Decha Kraisart was able to match West’s pace on the 5.15km circuit. Behind them, Indonesian rider Ahmad Yudhistira was also prominent as he rapidly closed in on the leading duo.
On the long and wide track where top end speed was the winning factor, West rode unchallenged to the chequered flag with a time of 25’21.592s followed by Decha Kraisart in second place and Yudhistira in third.
“I feel very comfortable on this track. It wasn’t an easy win even though I was four seconds in front of the others. I was able to take advantage when the riders behind me were fighting each other and slowing themselves down. In this race class, starting from pole position and a good run into the hole shot is essential to enjoy an easy race. If you were to start in the middle group, it would be hard to fight your way to the front,” said West.
However, West’s win has had minimal impact on the championship table. Tomoyoshi Koyama picked up ten points in sixth place, and extended his lead to 141 points. Zaqhwan Zaidi is now second overall with 133 points. Early title contenders Yuki Takahashi and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman were third and fourth respectively with 117 points and 100 points each.