Asia Road Racing Championship
Launched in 1996, the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) is the pinnacle series of motorcycle road racing in Asia. In 2018, it was composed of the premier SuperSports 600 (SS600) class, the Asia Production 250 (AP250) class, and the Underbone 150 (UB150) class. But as 1,000cc machines have become the international standard for production-based racing, the ARRC added its own litre-bike class in 2019--the ASB1000 class. This addition firmly underlines the ARRC as an essential arena for developing riding talent, preparing racers for stepping up to world-level competition, and furthering motorsports and racing culture in Asia.
Run under the FIM's rules and regulations for superstock racing, ASB1000 is the ARRC's premier class and gathers together some of Asia's fastest racers to battle it out with young up-and-comers who have their eyes on making it to the world stage. The class is drawing widespread interest and manufacturers are firming up their support for entries, aiming to raise the level of racing in Asia to be on par with--or even surpass--other internationally renowned racing series.
The SS600 class now has a rider age limit to turn the focus to rider growth and skill development. It will act as one key step to take on the path from 250cc to 1,000cc racing and eventually to world championships. The AP250 class was established in 2015 as part of spreading the popularity of low-displacement sport bikes. Compared to the SS600 class, more young riders participate and it is positioned as a gateway for riders with their sights on moving up to SS600, ASB1000, and then the world stage.
The 2019 season consists of seven rounds taking place at international circuits throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Each class races twice at every round before a champion is crowned based on the points earned from 14 races in total. All race machines are based on production models and are modified according to series regulations.
Yamaha began creating a tiered step-up structure in 2015 to discover and develop riders from Asia and help them progress upward. When the AP250 class was introduced, Yamaha provided support like offering motorcycle racing knowhow, etc., to teams run by its local subsidiaries and set up an environment for young riders on these teams to embark on a challenge toward world-class competition. Yamaha has continued this support since 2016, also establishing Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN in the SS600 class to act not only as its top team in the series, but also as a goal for young riders to aim for.
With the introduction of the ASB1000 class for the 2019 season, Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN has officially shifted to this new battlefield to boost Yamaha’s presence in Asian motorsports. Riding for the team are Yuki Ito, who finished 9th overall in SS600 last season and is in his fourth season with the team, and racing veteran Broc Parkes, a regular contender in the Endurance World Championship who makes his ARRC debut this year.
Yamaha’s local subsidiaries are also contesting the ARRC once again. The Yamaha Thailand Racing Team is fielding riders in the ASB1000, SS600, and AP250 classes, HONG LEONG YAMAHA MALAYSIA is racing solely in the SS600 class, YAMAHA Racing Indonesia is battling in the AP250 and UB150 classes, and the UMA RACING YAMAHA PHILIPPINES TEAM is contesting the UB150 class. Every team is aiming to win their respective championships as they grow and develop their riders.
The YZF-R1 is Yamaha’s flagship superbike and was developed with the same technological ideals as the YZR-M1 MotoGP machine in order to be the “Fastest on the Racetrack”. Besides its powerful 200 horsepower crossplane engine, the R1 boasts the first 6-axis IMU on a production motorcycle and a high-end electronics package. This all gives the bike excellent handling and outright performance that makes it easier for the rider to focus on the job at hand. With its high potential as a base for a racebike, the R1 is a fixture in racing from the national level to world championships, and has numerous race wins and titles to its name.
Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN modifies the base production machine according to series regulations to enhance its performance.
The YZF-R6 is a middleweight supersport model that made its world debut in 1998 at the INTERMOT show in Germany, and then went on sale in Europe and North America. After several model revamps over the years, the 2017 model incorporated technology from the YZF-R1 flagship superbike and was released as the newest iteration. Like the R1, it boasts excellent potential as a base machine for racing and is widely used in competition, from national series to the world championships. The R6 has an extensive list of victories, including last season in 2018 when it won a second straight World Supersport Championship title—the sixth time in all—and claimed the SS600 class crown with Ratthapong Wilairot riding for the Yamaha Thailand Racing Team.
In the ARRC, teams modify the base production machine according to series regulations to enhance its performance.