Three-time British Superbike Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari has taken steps to add the Asian title to his burgeoning resume. Having spent much of the qualifying practice sessions away from the limelight, Kiyo came out blazing in both Race 1 and Race 2 of the SuperSports 600cc class as Round 2 of the 2012 PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship concluded at the Sentul International Circuit in Indonesia.
The MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing had a fairly smooth outing in Race 1. After stealing the holeshot, he went on to lead the 16 lap race to the final lap completing it within 24’17.001s while Malaysian teammate, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman took second place with 24’17.515s. SuperSports 600cc defending Champion, Katsuaki Fujiwara (Manual Tech BEET Kawasaki Racing) had to be content coming in third with 24’19.476s.
Kiyonari repeated the same strategy for Race 2 and had another fruitful outcome as he was able to finish the race 6.805s (24’20.068s) ahead of second placer, Fujiwara with 24’26.873s who was seen struggling with his front tyre and third placer, Mohd Zamri Baba’s charge (PETRONAS Hong Leong Yamaha). The latter completed the race with 24’26.877s while Azlan Shah completed the race four laps behind having crashed in the sighting lap.
Overjoyed to surpass his rivals on unfamiliar territory, Kiyonari said, "I’m really very happy to win here in Indonesia. The race was very hard and I’m not so familiar with this circuit," he said.
He went on to add, "Before the race started, I wasn’t really thinking about winning. I just wanted to do my best so to appear Champion for both races is something to be proud of given the intense competition in this class. Better yet, me and Azlan took a 1-2 position in Race 1 but it’s just disappointing to see him crash at the sighting lap because we wanted to try to score a double podium again," said the three time British Superbike (BSB) Champion.
With 90 points in hand, Kiyonari moves up to take control of the SuperSports 600cc standings while Fujiwara drops down second with 86 points followed by Zamri Baba third, 55 points.
In the team standings, MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing leads with 90 points followed by Manual Tech BEET Kawasaki Racing and PETRONAS Hong Leong Yamaha second and third respectively with 86 points and 55 points.
Meanwhile it was an all Indonesian affair in the Underbone 115cc category with Hadi Wijaya winning claiming both chequered flags. Despite the immense pressure placed by Malaysian poleman, Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa (Pachie Yuzy Honda Racing), the Yamaha Yamalube KYT R9 Tunggal Jaya rode to victory with his typical style of sprinting to the finish line completing Race 1 with 20’01.818s, joined by compatriots Gupita Kresna (Kawasaki KYT Rextor Manual Tech) in second place with 20’01.919s and Ferlando Herdian third, 20’01.997s on the podium.
Hadi Wijaya repeated the same strategy for Race 2 to claim a back-to-back win with a total time of 20’01.149s. Second and third came in Kawasaki KYT Rextor Manual Tech duo, Yudhistira and Gupita with 20’01.162s and 20’01.540s respectively.
Pleased to win on his home-ground Hadi commented, "Both races were really challenging. I used a different setup for Race 2 but it had little impact as I was able to ride at maximum and still win the race. All in all, I’m very happy to win here in Sentul."
Sweeping 50 points from today, Hadi assumes lead in the Underbone 115cc standings with 86 points followed by Norizman Ismail (Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing) second and Rey Ratukore (Nissin R9 YT Federal Oil BRT) third 62 points and 60 points respectively.
In the Underbone 115cc team standings, Yamaha Yamalube KYT R9 Tunggal Jaya (Hadi Wijaya/ Ferlando) with 86 points, Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing second, 62 points and Nissin R9 KYT Federal Oil BRT 60 points.
Lastly Japanese duo Hiroki Ono and Hikari Okubo dominated Race 1 and Race 2 of the Asia Dream Cup respectively. Ono won Race 1 having completed the 10 lap race with a total time of 19’01.267s followed by Thai national, Apiwat Wongthananon in second place with 19’08.689s while Iswandi Muis did his Indonesian home crowd proud to earn third placing with total time, 19’09.156s.
Unfortunately, luck was not on Ono’s side for Race 2. The 20-year old who was making a run for the podium crashed out of the race at the last turn together with Apiwat, allowing race leader, Okubo to claim his first win for the season with 19’01.267s. To come in second was Denny Triyugo who timed 19’01.480s followed by Joshua Hook third, 19’01.772s.
With Ono failing to pick up any points from Race 2, Okubo now takes lead in the Asia Dream Cup standings with 76 points while the former drops down second by a one point deficit (75 points). Apiwat completes the top three with 52 points.
"It was a very exciting race. The weather was really hot and the competition was very tough. I made a mistake at the start of Race 2 but I never gave up and kept on pushing to the final lap. It was shocking however to see Ono crash because he is my bestfriend. Luckily he’s okay," said Okubo.
1.Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 24’17.001s 2.Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (Honda) 24’17.515s 3.Katsuaki Fujiwara (Kawasaki) 24’19.476s 4.Mohd Zamri Baba (Yamaha) 24’20.048s 5.Shu Sato (Kawasaki) 24’36.776s
1.Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 24’20.068s 2.Katsuaki Fujiwara (Kawasaki) 24’26.873s 3.Mohd Zamri Baba (Yamaha) 24’26.877s 4.Dimas Ekky Pratama (Yamaha) 24’31.730s 5.Sudarmono (Yamaha) 24’33.362s
1.Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 90 points 2.Katsuaki Fujiwara (Kawasaki) 86 points 3.Mohd Zamri Baba (Yamaha) 55 points 4.Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman(Honda) 52 points 5.Dimas Ekky Pratama (Yamaha) 31 points