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HONDA reigns Podium in Sepang for ARRC Round 2

Opening

After winning Race 1 in the season opener in Buriram, Thailand, Zaqhwan Zaidi of Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA was determined to extend his lead in the AS1000 category of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship in home track Sepang. He was merely piped to the finish line in Race 2 finishing second.

Meanwhile, Helmi Azman of Boon Siew Honda Racing Team will also be looking to further stretch his lead after a phenomenal Round 1 display back in March. Helmi finished 2nd in Race 1 and won Race 2 after coming back from behind to give him a great boost for the Race SS600.

Khairul Idham Pawi will also be looking to finish strong here in Sepang after picking up 5th spot for Race 1 and Race 2 in Thailand. Teammate and fellow countryman Azroy Hakeem are looking forward to opening his tally point account at home ground after missing out of the Round 1 event to Covid-19. Boon Siew Honda Racing Team continued to challenge the SS600 with all 3 riders lining up on the grid this time around.

In AP250 category, Idemitsu Boon Siew Honda Racing Team fielded Idlan Haqimi, and making his debut in Round 2 is new rider Firdaus Hamdan. Idlan finished 11th in Race 1 and did not finish Race 2

Qualifying

The qualifying day in Sepang was sunnier than usual, the temperature rose to 32.6 Celsius. The scorching ambiance did not stop national rider Zaqhwan from securing 2nd grid with the best lap timing of 2:05.205s he did in lap 11. He was just 0.01 seconds from securing the pole grid for the ASB1000 category for the Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA.

Helmi Azman of Boon Siew HONDA Racing Team managed to clock 2:09.666s and took the 5th position on the grid in the SS600 category. Helmi had a good pace solo with old front and new rear tires. Teammates Khairul Idham and Azroy manage to clock in an impressive 2:09.438s and 2:09.602s respectively, which put them in 2nd and 3rd grid respectively after changing to new qualifying tires midway through the session.

Meanwhile, Idlan Haqimi and Firdaus Hamdan of Idemitsu Boon Siew Honda Racing Team who challenged the AP250 category managed to finish grid 13th and 18th respectively.

Race 1

Under the very hot Sepang weather this time around, Zaqhwan’s plan unfortunately backfired and did not follow for the ASB1000 category as he finished 4th in the race after struggling to maintain his position in the final few laps. Fellow national Helmi Azman started slowing in the beginning and was hit in turn 1 which dropped his position. He kept pace to catch up with the front group and finished impressively in 4th place almost getting to the podium. Khairul Idham and Azroy Hakeem finished on the podium taking 2nd and 3rd place respective in Race 1. Khairul impressively maintained his rhythm while Azroy was following him and learning on the race lines and keeping pace. He will be delighted with the performances after missing out on Round 1. The SS600 category was well dominated by Malaysian Honda Riders in Sepang Race 1.

Race 2

Under the very hot Sepang weather this time around, Zaqhwan’s plan unfortunately backfired and did not follow for the ASB1000 category as he finished 4th in the race after struggling to maintain his position in the final few laps. Fellow national Helmi Azman started slowing in the beginning and was hit in turn 1 which dropped his position. He kept pace to catch up with the front group and finished impressively in 4th place almost getting to the podium. Khairul Idham and Azroy Hakeem finished on the podium taking 2nd and 3rd place respective in Race 1. Khairul impressively maintained his rhythm while Azroy was following him and learning on the race lines and keeping pace. He will be delighted with the performances after missing out on Round 1. The SS600 category was well dominated by Malaysian Honda Riders in Sepang Race 1.

Closing

The Malaysian Honda Riders overall manage to dominate Sepang in their homecoming Round 2 in both categories of the ASB1000 and SS600.

Zaqhwan still leads the standings on the ASB1000 category overall with 78 points heading into Round 3 that will happened in Japan during August. Helmi too extend his lead in the SS600 category overall with 83, with a gap of 16 points from 2nd place. Khairul Idham has 58 points overall and stands in 4th while compatriot Azroy collects 24 points and currently in 8th position.

Overall, the Malaysian Riders have waved the Jalur Gemilang very well on home ground, exciting the crowd with end-to-end nail-biting performances. With these results, they have surely set an exciting build-up to create an even more intense 3nd Round in August in Japan. Congratulations to Zaqhwan, Helmi, Khairul, and Azroy! Ready for the next round!

RoundCategoryTeamRiderRace 1Race 2
1AsiaSuperbike 1000ccHonda Asia-Dream 
Racing with SHOWAZaqhwan Zaidi4th2nd
1Super Sports 600ccBoonsiew HONDA 
Racing TeamHelmi Azman4th1st
1Super Sports 600ccBoonsiew HONDA
Racing Team
Khairul Idham Pawi2nd3rd
1Super Sports 600ccBoon Siew Honda Racing TeamAzroy Hakeem Anuar3rd8th
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