UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team’s wildcard, Mckinley Kyle Paz surpassed all expectations as the Underbone 150 riders took their first crack at The Bend Motorsport Park, host venue for Round 2 of the 2018 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship.
The Filipino’s entry to Round 2 had been a highly anticipated affair, particularly after his impressive performance during the pre-season test a few months ago. Presented with a level playing field at a new host venue, Mckinley wasted no time to demonstrate his abilities against that of his more experienced peers.
He clocked the fastest Underbone laptime of the day, 2’18.393s in the second free practice session. Championship leader Mohd Helmi Azman came closest to match Mckinley’s pace. The SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda Racing Team rider checked in second fastest with 2’18.737s.
Indonesia’s Wahyu Aji Trilaksana, whose season opening results had been handicapped by several sanctions, posted third fastest with 2’18.922s. Wahyu would be looking to make up for lost ground at Round 2 in order to gain the upper hand in the 2018 title chase.
The formidable UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team, also defending team champion in the Underbone class, managed to put three riders in the top five. Defending champion Mohd Akid Aziz stopped the clock at 2’19.326s and his team mate Mohd Haziq Mohd Fairues ended the day fifth fastest with 2’19.640s.