Mascardo wins back-to-back at Buriram
Round 2 of SUZUKI ASIAN CHALLENGE (SAC), held in conjunction with FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC), brings its round to ahot and humid Thailand, with the country in celebration mode for the Songkran Festival.
Day 2 for SAC saw a qualifying session in the morning, and Race 1 held in the late afternoon. Although rain was forecasted for the day, the skies once again showed no signs of rain, making the condition hot and humid for the riders.
The Thai duo, #18 Patis Chooprathet and #78 Punchana Kulrojchalalai showed their local fans their strength at their local track. Chooprathet took pole position, with a time of 2’14.818, and Kulrojchalalai followed right behind, with a lap of 2’14.972. The Thai duo were the only riders that marked below the 2’16s. Indonesia’s favorite, #27 Nur Al Fath Sam Ahmad qualified 3rd to fill the front row with a lap of 2’16.038.
Race 1 turned out to become one of the most exciting, yet safe and clean race for SAC. Right from start, the riders raced in a pack, with several lead changes right up until the chequered flag. The Thai duo, rocketed towards the front of the pack at start, but were not able to run away from the pack. 12 riders stayed in the top group until the final corner of the final lap. #16 April King Mascardo (Philippines) positioned himself well throughout the race, and took the once chance he had. Mascardo took the that lead to the finish line and won Race 1, making it a consecutive win from Race 2 in Round 1. Alfath took 2nd, while Kulrojchalalai cmae in 3rd.
Race 2 is scheduled to be held on April 15th, from 10:55am.
April King H. Mascardo | ＃16
“I just concentrated on following the leader throughout the whole race. I positioned myself in middle of the pack, and started to speed up in the final 3 laps. I wasn’t expecting to win the race, but found an opening, so I took it. It’s my birthday on Sunday, so I hope I win Race 2, and make my birthday weekend a memorable one.”
Yukio Kagayama | General Manager
“I invited Patis (Chooprathet) to come join us for this race in Thailand. He did great in SAC’s inaugural season, and raced with us in SS600 last year, so I am sure it will make an good effect on the other riders. The riders showed us an very exciting race today. Although it was a very close race, no one crashed, and proved to me that their skills have improved. I expect the same for Race 2 tomorrow, and hope that the riders will think about their strategy, and do their best at the race.”
Shunji Yatsushiro | Rider Coach
“To be honest, I am a little surprised to see the race become a high-speed close race. But I am happy that I was able to witness a clean and an exciting race without any fallers. So now that Philippines have won 3 consecutive races this season, I am looking forward to see how the other riders try to win over them. It looks like that tomorrow will be a dry race. We will be racing in the morning when the track temperature should be lower than today, so that should make it easier for the riders to ride. I am looking forward to see how their lap time would improve by it.”