Race 1: Ito Takes Personal Best Finish of 2019, Parkes Finishes 4th
Yuki Ito, who missed the previous round in Japan due to injury, made his return here at Round 5. He made steady progress through the free practice sessions and into qualifying, and in Race 1 featured prominently before going on to take his highest finish of the season in 2nd.
Honda's Zaqhwan Zaidi (#21) started from 2nd on the grid and got off the line well. He was followed closely by Kawasaki's Thitipong Warokorn (#100), while Ito started from 4th and slotted into 3rd before soon passing Warokorn for 2nd on the first lap. Broc Parkes (#4) started from pole position but dropped to 6th on the first lap.
The leading trio of Zaidi, Ito and Warokorn set a fast pace at the front, soon getting away from the rider in 4th. Once their pace had settled down it became a close-quarters battle for the lead. Towards the middle of the race a back marker came into play that got between Zaidi and Ito, and that was enough to create a gap between the two, hampering Ito's pace and allowing Zaidi to break away. From that point it was Ito and Warokorn vying for 2nd.
Behind them, Parkes and Apiwat Wongthananon (#24) were locked in a contest for 5th. Parkes came out on top of this tussle and then put on a burst of speed in an attempt to catch up to the battle for 2nd.
At that point Ito was less focused on the rider behind and more on the one in front, while Parkes had his sights set on Warokorn as he pushed his YZF-R1 to go faster. The gap between Ito and Zaidi was around 2 seconds, but as Ito closed in he managed to shave a second off of that. In the end it was a case of not enough time remaining as the finish line beckoned and Ito finished there in 2nd. This season Ito has stood on the podium four times, but each time it has been in 3rd place. With this result, he managed to break through that barrier and secure his best finish of the season. Meanwhile Parkes had latched on to the tail of the rider in front but was unable to make a pass and he finished in 4th.
Wongthananon, after falling back to 5th, was dropped by the riders in front but worked hard to hold onto his position, where he eventually finished. His teammate Ratthapong Wilairot had started the race from 7th and lost positions to finish 10th.
Race 2: Third Win for Parkes as Ito Takes Sixth Podium
Broc Parkes had issues in Race 1, but in Race 2 he made a strong recovery. He battled through until the middle stages of the race where he eked out a lead and ran uncontested there until the chequers, where he took his third win of the season. His teammate Ito produced a comeback to take 3rd and make it two podium finishes in a row.
In the race, the opening few laps were hotly contested, with many passes and changes of position going on. Zaidi, who had been fast all weekend so far, held on to the top spot. He was followed by BMW's Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (#25), the highest ranked Yamaha of Parkes in 3rd, with Ito and Warokorn behind at the end of the first lap.
In the opening stages there was around one second covering all the riders from Zaidi back to Warokorn, and soon Parkes was on the move. After passing Kamaruzaman for 2nd on lap 3, he closed in on Zaidi and began to apply pressure from behind. He made the pass stick on lap 6, and immediately tried to break away, quickly opening around a one second gap. He slowly but surely began to widen that gap as he lapped at the front. Parkes' task was to maintain the gap, which he did successfully, eventually crossing the line well ahead of his rivals.
Behind him, Ito had fallen to 5th but fought back and latched on to the back of the group vying for 2nd. In the second half of the race the order of that group swapped and changed furiously before Ito came into the final lap in 4th behind Zaidi and Kamaruzaman.
Then, towards the end of the final lap Zaidi made a mistake. That let Kamaruzaman through and Ito did not hesitate to take a chance as well, lining up alongside and pushing to get ahead. That was enough to keep Kamaruzaman at bay, allowing Ito to hang on to take 3rd. It was his sixth podium of the season. Two Yamaha riders on the podium was one major highlight to cap off a strong weekend of racing.
Race 1: Kasmayudin Finishes 2nd with Boonlert in 3rd
Hong Leong Yamaha Malaysia's Kasma Daniel bin Kasmayudin (#127) was fastest in the free practice sessions and qualifying. He was involved in the fight for the win until the last lap, but eventually finished 2nd. The Yamaha Thailand racing Team's Peerapong Boonlert (#26), who has won seven races this season, finished on the podium in 3rd.
The three at the front were all YZF-R6 riders, with Md Ramdan Rosli (#23) joining Kasmayudin and Boonlert. Boonlert looked to have the most speed in the opening laps and he took the lead on lap 3, but by lap 5 Kasmayudin had retaken it from him, though he was not able to open a gap at that point. Kasmayudin's teammate Ahmad Afif Amran (#50) was also part of the group, with a line of bikes stretching back from the lead.
In the closing stages there was an unexpected obstacle in the mix. R6 rider Muhamad Adam Norrodin (#77) had upped his pace enough to get in touch with and eventually pass Boonlert for 2nd, before going on to catch and pass Kasmayudin for 1st as well on the final lap. Kasmayudin managed to stay with Norrodin however, putting himself in place for an attempt at the final corner of the final lap. Kasmayudin made a brave pass up Norridin's inside, but overran the corner allowing Norrodin to come back past and take the win, as Kasmayudin finished 2nd. He narrowly missed out on taking a maiden SS600 victory.
Boonlert had dropped as low as 4th at one point, but when the rider in front of him had a mechanical issue he regained 3rd. He was unable to get involved with the fight for the lead after that and hung on to finish there as YZF-R6 riders swept the rostrum. Amran meanwhile got a slow start before recovering from 6th to 5th by the end of the race.
Race 2: Kasmayudin Bests Personal Record with Stunning Debut Win
Kasmayudin, who in Race 1 lost out on the win after suffering a comeback pass, instead made a thrilling comeback of his own to take his first victory in the SS600 class. Boonlert also took another 3rd place podium finish.
In the race both Kasmayudin and Boonlert made fast starts and were riding in a 1-2 formation at the front before bad luck struck for Boonlert, as he made a mistake and lost positions. He finished the first lap in 7th, which was a major setback.
However Boonlert soon showed just how fast he is capable of riding as he mounted a recovery. He made it into 5th on lap 5, then 4th on lap 3, and on lap 5 a rival's crash in front brought him suddenly back into the podium positions. Kasmayudin had been keeping a steady pace throughout this time, but was unable to eke out a big advantage. From that point it was Kasmayudin, Norrodin and Boonlert who were set for a heated battle in a repeat of Race 1.
Boonlert was the first to make a move, using the momentum of his quick comeback pace. He passed Norrodin for 2nd before closing in on Kasmayudin and making the pass for the lead. But this only spurred Kasmayudin and Norrodin on, as they both began to mount a counterattack. They caught back up to Boonlert and it became a three way fight for the lead, which was closely contested until the final corner of the final lap of the race. There, Kasmayudin made a pass up the inside for 1st, and he was able to stay there until the chequers beckoned and he took a famous first win in the SS600 class. Boonlert narrowly missed out with a 3rd place finish. Further down the field, Amran had run into trouble in the opening stages, running off track and eventually having to retire from the race.
Race 1: Setiawan Fights Bravely but Ends Up 11th
The Yamaha Racing Indonesia team's Anggi Setiawan (#96) had consistently been the top placed Yamaha throughout the lead up to the race, and he qualified in 9th, on the third row of the grid for the race start. He got off the line well and made up considerable ground to 3rd on the first lap. However on lap 2 he got caught up in a free-for-all battle and dropped back to 6th. Following that he continued to lose touch, and by lap 4 he was in 11th. Even so, his 11th place was only 1.3 seconds off the lead, so he was still in a position to challenge for the podium as he headed into the second half of the race.
On lap 5 that gap had not changed as Setiawan remained in 11th with a 1.4 second gap to the front. His pace was on par with the bikes in front of him as he pushed to stay in touch. He struggled to close down the gap further as he came into the final lap in 10th. On it, he another position to finish 11th.
Setiawan's teammate Muhammad Faerozi (#36) struggled in qualifying and finished 16th, while the Yamaha Thailand Racing Team's Suttipat Patchaeetron (#86) and Sawapol Nillapong (#56) finished in 18th and 19th respectively.
Race 2: Setiawan Works Hard to Hold on to 6th
The Yamaha contingent had a difficult time in Race 2. Setiawan came around after the first lap in 9th, but after that fell all the way back to 16th. Patchaeetron was in 15th, and the two formed the end of the long line of riders that made up the leading group where they fought hard to make up positions.
But it was at this point that Setiawan caught a second wind. Moving steadily forward, he had recovered to 12th by lap 6, and 8th by lap 7, bringing him in touch with the lead group. That was his position as the final lap got started, with around a one second gap to the leader. He pushed hard to claw back more positions, and in the end a few riders in front crashed which allowed him to take 6th at the flag.
Patchaeetron meanwhile broke away from the riders trailing behind and in the middle stages had featured at the back of the lead group, but in the end had a hard time making up significant positions, eventually being helped by riders in front crashing to take 11th. Nillapong finished 15th as Faerozi crashed on lap 2 and retired from the race.
Race 1: Filipino Rider McKinley Kyle Paz Takes 2nd Victory of Season
Yamaha Racing Indonesia's Aldi Satya Mahendra (#570) secured pole position in the superpole-style qualifying, while the UMA Racing Yamaha Philippines Team's McKinley Kyle Paz (#123) lined up on the grid in 2nd. Mahendra got the holeshot and Paz got away in the top positions.
Mahendra and Paz battled hard in a close contest, but managed to stay near the lead. Meanwhile Paz's teammate Masato Fernando (#17) started from 15th before working hard to gain ground in the first half of the race, and by lap 4 was near the front. Yamahas made up much of the lead group as the race approached its end.
Following that, the final lap saw a group of 10 or more machines all within close contention. There were two instances of multiple-machine crashes, but Mahendra's teammate Wahyu Negroho (#89) and four other bikes avoided a crash as they came into the final corner. There, Paz and Fernando got in front and it became a battle on the straight between the two, but Paz narrowly came across the line ahead to take the chequered flag and his second victory of the season. Fernando finished 2nd for his second podium this season while Mahendra took 3rd, completing an all-Yamaha podium. Negroho also fought his way from 23rd to finish 5th, securing a strong showing for Yamaha on the day.
Race 2: Top 5 for Paz with 5th Place Finish
The final day of Round 5 kicked off with the UB150 race, and in it Paz and Mahendra made solid starts and were running together 1-2 at the end of the first lap before a multiple-rider crash brought out the red flags. The race was then rescheduled as a 6 lap sprint.
In both races Aldi made his start and came through to lead after the first lap. Paz slotted in to 3rd while Fernando was in 5th. There were 10 machines within one second, making for a close race, but the lead group was made up of Fernando, Aldi, Paz and Negroho. In keeping with normal UB150 style races, there were fierce and rapid changes of position throughout the rest of the race.
It remained that way on the final lap, and appeared set for a thrilling final corner battle. All the machines poured into the corner, but Paz, Fernando, Aldi and Negroho all missed out on the podium, taking 5th, 6th 7th and 8th respectively at the finish line. The podium was a sweep for Yamaha, however.
Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN
#76 Yuki Ito (ASB1000: 2nd)
"I'd been going well through the whole weekend, so I wanted to get away towards the front in the race. The three in front of me were all really fast riders, so I knew the start would be tough, but I saw a gap in the first corner and came through. But after that Zaidi was so fast so it was all I could do to try to stay with him. I thought if I could do that I'd also be able to drop the guys behind, and I thought I'd be able to make my move later on in the race. In the middle a back marker got in the way and that held me up. I lost touch because of that. It was really disappointing, but 2nd was my best finish of the year, and I know that's just how racing goes sometimes so now I have to switch gears and try to take my first win of the season tomorrow."
#23 Broc Parkes (ASB1000: 4th)
"Basically I just didn't do well with my start and I lost positions. The front brake wasn't feeling right and I had trouble with that, and the tyre felt different than it did in free practice. I still tried to push though, but 4th was the best I could do. I'm always aiming for the podium, so I'm pretty disappointed and frustrated with 4th. We'll work on adjusting the setup a little bit so I can be in with a shot of the podium in Race 2."
Team Manager Yukihiko Kurata
"2nd and 4th are solid finishes, and both are important going into the race tomorrow. Ito is still recovering from the injury that kept him on the sidelines at the last round, and here he's showed no effects from that as he's had a fast pace all weekend. He worked hard to get the machine setup ready for the race. He was riding to try to get into the lead, and in the end he couldn't quite get there, but 2nd is his best finish of the season, so that was a strong result for him. Parkes started on pole but was slow off the line, so that was one cause of finishing where he did. Some part of it was the setup not being exactly right, but overall, looking at the points standings I think he did what he needed to do for the race. We're going for a double podium finish tomorrow."
Hong Leong Yamaha Malaysia
#127 Kasma Daniel bin Kasmayudin (SS600: 2nd)
"This time I definitely thought I could win, but in the last two laps I missed a shift and let my rival past. In SS600 one little miss can cost you really big. That's why to win you can't make any mistakes at all. But still, 2nd was a good result. Tomorrow I'll push my machine to the limit and win it."
Team Manager Sean Wong Hong Siong
"Kasma Daniel set the fastest times in qualifying and free practice, so he was in position to win, and his riding in Race 1 was very consistent. He made a small mistake towards the end and that cost him the lead. To lose a race that we could have won was frustrating. Amran also had a chance, so for Race 2 we'll make preparations so both riders can be on the podium."
Yamaha Thailand Racing Team
#26 Peerapong Boonlert (SS600: 3rd)
"It didn't turn out to be the race I was hoping for. I think a big part of that was my bike setup was lagging behind my rivals. I still tried to ride as hard as I could but it was really tough. In that kind of situation, 3rd was a positive result I think. I was behind my rivals so I got a good look at them, and I have some ideas about changing the setup for tomorrow to help me get the win."
Theerapong Opaskornkul, Senior General Manager of Sales & Marketing Support
"The riders in front, including Kasmayudin, rode a really well balanced race today. This circuit is quite simple, so for someone like Boonlert who has a lot of technical skill, he wasn't able to use that to his advantage as much here. Watching the race I felt like he did well controlling his tyres, but he was just trying to hang onto the Malaysian riders in front. His setup wasn't quite right, so while 3rd was hard to swallow I think it was the best we could hope for in these circumstances. Tomorrow we'll be back to get some revenge by winning the race."
UMA RACING YAMAHA PHILIPPINES TEAM
McKinley Kyle Paz (UB150 : 1st)
"The race was very tough, but I did my best and got a great result. When I was in 2nd I watched the lead rider and found my chance to get in front. I'll try to do the same tomorrow."
Masato Fernando (UB150: 2nd)
"I started in 15th but I rode hard and got up to about 8th in the first corner. I broke late in the tight corners and used that to pass riders one by one. I'm pretty confident in my abilities to do that, so I plan to use that again tomorrow and finish in the top positions again."
Team Manager Cornista Jordan
"With the season half done, neither our riders nor the team can make any mistakes. Our riders have stayed in good physical condition and spent time learning the course layout, and our mechanics are doing their best work. I want to keep putting all that to use to get great results."
Yamaha Racing Indonesia
Aldi Satya Mahendra (UB150: 3rd)
"First of all I'm so proud to be able to race in this championship with this team. I'm also very happy to finish on the podium. In the race I got a good start and near the end the rider in front of me in 3rd crashed, but the gap to the two in front was too big so I focused on keeping 3rd. I want to finish in the top five for the season, so tomorrow I definitely want to be on the podium again."
Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN
#23 Broc Parkes (ASB1000: 1st)
"We changed the settings for the morning warmup. That helped a lot, so I could attack more consistently. In the race I got into 3rd behind Azlan Shah and there was a small gap to Zaidi in the lead, then I passed Azlan Shah on lap 3. Zaidi made a mistake and that let me get into the lead, right around the time I needed to. After that I just had to manage my race. The key for my race this time was being in a good position after the first lap. This win is going to help out my championship chances a lot."
#76 Yuki Ito (ASB1000: 3rd)
"With how my bike was working, honestly I felt like 5th was the best I could do in Race 2. The first half in particular was tough, so my goal was just to hang on and try to stay with those guys as best I could. I think my rival had tire wear issues and that helped me get into 4th, and I got into 3rd by the last lap. Considering the bike I was satisfied with 3rd, but seeing Broc in the lead made me think I could try for more, so I regret maybe not pushing to get a higher result. This was my sixth podium this year, but my DNFs earlier in the season had a big effect so I'm only 4th overall. I think it's unlikely that I'll win, but I haven't given up yet. I want to win at Sepang to put myself in a better position to win the championship."
Team Manager Yukihiko Kurata
"Broc had been having issues with the brakes since the start of the weekend due I think to the nature of this stop-and-go circuit layout and the high temperatures. In the race he studied his rivals well, and he got the most out of his bike with good control, which is what allowed him to win I think. He put his experience as a racing veteran to really good use, and that combined with some hard work from the team went a long way. Ito had similar issues with the brakes, but his were even more of an obstacle. He didn't give up though, and his comeback on the final lap was fantastic. Six podiums in this class is really good, and I know he'll keep pushing alongside Broc with an eye on winning the championship title."
Hong Leong Yamaha Malaysia
#127 Kasma Daniel bin Kasmayudin (SS600: 1st)
"I had to fight right up until the very last corner, but I got the win. It was an amazing race and I'm so happy right now. All I can say is how thankful I am to Hong Leong Yamaha and my whole team and crew, and to everyone who has supported me. I was trying to ride with my tyres in mind, but in the second half it was such a big fight that all I tried to do was push myself until the last lap, and I think that's what helped me win. The next round is my home round in Sepang, so of course my goal is to win again. I can't rest after winning just once, I want to do it again! So I'll work to make that happen."
Team Manager Sean Hong Wong Siong
"The race was fantastic, and I'm very happy with how it went. We fought hard in Race 1 too, but this time I just have to say thank you to Kasma Daniel for how hard he pushed. Also this win was down to our mechanics, our chief engineer, our coordinator and others' hard work. I really appreciate the devoted job they did here this weekend. We'll go to Sepang next, which is our home round. I feel like this was only the beginning for Kasma Daniel winning in this class, so our goal is to keep that trend going. Amran's goal is to get on the podium, and we plan to support him as much as possible to achieve that."
Yamaha Thailand Racing Team
#26 Peerapong Boonlert (SS600: 3rd)
"The team changed the bike's setup a bit from yesterday, but it still wasn't quite enough. I think the Malaysian riders had really strong setups here. I'm pretty frustrated with my result today, but I think it was a good learning experience I can use when we come back here next year. I made a mistake in the opening laps with the slightly slippery conditions, which definitely didn't help. The Malaysian guys are going to be strong at the next round since it's their home round, but I also have a lot of experience at Sepang so I want to go out and get revenge there."
Theerapong Opaskornkul, Senior General Manager of Sales & Marketing Support
"Peerapong started really well, but he made a mistake on the first lap and lost positions because of that. From there he passed riders one after another and caught back up, but he spun his tyres and used them up a lot as he did that. Kasmayudin was able to fight right up until the last lap and I think that's because he got to the front early and controlled his tyres well. It was a hard result to take for Peerapong but I think all in all it was a good experience for him. We won't give up, and will be fighting hard at the next round in Sepang."