Asia Road Racing Championship
Launched in 1996, the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) is the pinnacle of motorcycle road racing in Asia. It is comprised of three classes: the premier "SuperSports 600cc" (SS600) class, the "Asia Production 250" (AP250) class run with 250cc sport bikes and the "Underbone 130cc" (UB130) class that is run with 130cc underbone machines. In addition to these classes, the joint running of one-make races and other aspects make it a noteworthy series that serves to nurture young riders' careers and provide the environment for them to work their way up toward world-class competition. In this way, the ARRC has become an essential championship series for the building of Asian racing culture toward the future.
The SuperSports 600cc class in particular features top talents from mainly ASEAN countries, and has produced several riders that have gone on to compete in the All Japan Road Race Championship and world championships. In recent years, the participation of veteran Japanese riders and the increased manufacturer support has led to steady progress and higher levels of rider skill. On the other hand, the Asia Production 250 class established in 2015 is contested by younger riders with little racing experience on full-on motorcycles. It is in place to act as a gateway for riders to set their sights on world-level competition.
The season takes place on internationally certified race circuits throughout Asia, with six events scheduled in total. In every class, each round is comprised of two races, with the championship being decided by the results across all 12 races. All the race machines are based on production models and modified for racing in line with the ARRC's technical regulations.
Last year, Yamaha began a tier-based “step-up” program in Asia to offer a chance for young riders to grow progressively. As the first step of that process, an environment was put in place where young riders could challenge for results in the Asia Production 250 class. This season, Yamaha has formed the new Yamaha Racing Team to contest the SS600 class and represent the next level that these AP250 riders should aim for. Riding for the team will be Yuki Ito, who has finished in the top nine for the past four seasons in the class, alongside Muhammad Fitri Ashraf Razali from Malaysia, who will be beginning his third season in the class. The two will compete on the YZF-R6 supersport machine and contest the season in hopes of growing as riders and winning the championship.
In the Asia Production 250cc class, Yamaha will continue to support the riders and teams competing on the YZF-R25. Training and instructional programs for riders, such as Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Riders Academy, will be used to aid in raising rider skills, facilitate the winning of the championship and expedite progress through the step-up program.
The YZF-R6 is a middleweight class supersport model that was the first production model to feature a magnesium subframe and is also packed with technologies like the Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) and Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I). It is used as a base machine in several road racing championships on both the national and international level. The R6 is a proven machine, as demonstrated by winning the World Supersport Championship title on four occasions.
The YZF-R25 debuted in 2014 and is a global model marketed widely throughout Asia as well as in developed markets. Developed under the concept of “a superbike you can ride every day,” the R25 features an engine boasting class-leading power and a lightweight chassis inherited from the R-Series, giving it top-notch performance. In the ARRC, the R25’s racing potential is constantly being improved as it is modified in line with the technical regulations of the series.