The Indonesian Round kicks off for SUZUKI ASIAN CHALLENGE
The fourth round of the 2017 SUZUKI ASIAN CHALLENGE season kicked off at Sentul International Circuit (3,954meters), located in Bogor, Indonesia, just 40km south of Jakarta. This circuit has 7 right turns and 4 left turns, and is one of the most flat circuit in the ARRC calendar.
SUZUKI ASIAN CHALLENGE (SAC) started in 2015, in aim to develop young Asian riders. The riders compete using the same equipment, and race in equal condition. The program emphasizes on riders skills, not only in riding, but setting up the bike and attitude on and off-track as well. The riders come to each round with only their helmets. SAC started to use the Suzuki GSX-R150, the newest addition to the Suzuki line-up manufactured in Indonesia.
SAC this season as been inviting local SAC graduates in each round, and this round SAC has invited 2016 SAC Champion, #1 Jefri Tosema. In addition to Tosema, SAC has invited UK’s Fastbikes magazine editor, #26 Bruce Wilson to participate in SAC. Current British Superbike rider with Bennetts Suzuki, Taylor Mackenzie has accompanied Wilson as his mechanic.
Day 1 at Sentul gave two practice session for the riders. In Free Practice 1, Tosema showed speed with a lap of 2’00.712. Tosema’s style of running alone in the beginning of the session, and then concentrating running in pack at the later half of the session still resides. He ended up as leader of FP1, and making sure everyone knows that he is one of the contenders to win this race.
In Free Practice 2, Tosema was not as dominating as FP1. His Indonesian teammate, #11 Ahmad Saugi Muchtar sliced a second off Tosema’s best in FP1, and lapped a 1’59.672 to finish FP2 on top. Japanese rider, #17 Tetsuya Fujita came in 2nd with a lap of 2’00.252, while Suzuka’s double winner #78 Punchana Kulrojchalalai (Thailand) came in 3rd with a lap of 2’00.284. Tosema came in 4th with a lap of 2’00.458.
SAC General Manager, Yukio Kagayama attended the press conference held at GGAIKINDO Indonesia International Auto Show 2017. Kagayama made introduction of SAC’s GSX-R150 to the media and explained what SAC is all about. Kagayama answered to every question that the media made, and called out for fans to visit Sentul to watch the races on Saturday and Sunday.
Shunji Yatsushiro | Rider Coach
“We have Jefri (Tosema) and Bruce (Wilson) as guest riders this round, so it’s going to be a fun weekend. Although parts of the track has been repaved, it is still very bumpy and the gaps are still there. It is will be important for the riders find the right line to tackle this problem. I hope the riders do not crash throughout the weekend. We will be seeing qualification and Race 1 tomorrow. I hope they find a good set-up and clear last season’s lap record.”