Victorious at the opening race yesterday, Mohd Syahnas Syahidan overcome a poor start to win Race 2 of the Malaysian Super Series Superbike category at Sepang Circuit to pen a double victory; giving him an overwhelming advantage in his quest for a second MSS overall crown.
Overall winner of the 600cc Supersports Championship in 2008, Syahnas, who rides for Iktikad Raya Racing Team, said that he desperately needed a perfect result and maximum points to pull away in the championship standings in anticipation of stiffer competition in the upcoming rounds.
“We know that the top riders were skipping this round to compete in the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) … these riders will be coming for Round 2. It’s going to be very, very tough especially in Round 4 during the Malaysian Grand Prix where there would even be more international riders,” said Syahnas, who collected 50 championship points with the two wins.
In an effort to raise the profile of the MSS, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) – the promoter and organizer of the series – has incorporated the opening round of bike competition with the ARRC, which features a 600cc Supersports Championship that included some of the MSS regulars like the MSS Superbike defending champion Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, Mohd Zamri Baba, Ahmad Fuad Baharuddin and his younger brother, Ahmad Nashrul.
Round 4 of the MSS bikes competition, which is scheduled from October 19 to 21, will be incorporated in the 2012 Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix as it support races – as being the case in the past many years.
According to Syahnas, he was made to understand that two-time Superbike Champion Yasuhiro Kuhara of Japan, who is skipping this round will be returning for Round 2; making competition even stiffer.
“Hence, the team would be working on upgrading my bike in preparation for the next round. I was racing with a stock engine actually this weekend. I am happy that we won and I would like to thank all members of the team for their hard work and commitment. We will be ready for Round 2,” he added.
Explaining his problem at the start, Syahnas said: “The gear went to neutral. Luckily, I managed to shift back into first gear to get moving. But, for the next two laps, I was nursing it carefully to ensure that the clutch was working well. Luckily, there was no problem and then only, I pushed the bike,” said Syahnas, who went into the lead from Lap 4 before blazing to the chequered flag and completing the 15-lap race around the 2.706-km Sepang Circuit North Track in 17 minutes 18.710 seconds.
While there were celebrations in Iktikad Raya Racing camp, there was heartbreak for BikeArt Racing and Ahmad Zamani Baharuddin, who won the opening race for the Superstock Championship yesterday in an exciting contest with Syahnas in their battle for bragging rights in the combined race.
Starting from pole, Zamani had a misfiring engine as he tried to pull away from the grid with his Kawasaki ZX10R struggling for speed and power . At the end of first lap dropped to 22nd place. He went into the pits; but the team could not manage to solve the problem; forcing Zamani to retire from the race.
“As I said yesterday, anything can happen in motor racing. You can make all the necessary preparations; but this things happen racing. We have to move forward and now prepare for Round 2,” said Zamani, who is targeting to win his third Superstock crown this season.
With Zamani out, Ahmad Faez Yahya, who was third in Race 1, cruised to victory to collect 25 championship points; bringing his total haul to 45 and pushing him to the top of the championship standings in the open category. Second in Race 1 yesterday, Nizam Fairuz took second placing again with Nasaruddin Mat Yusof filling the final step of today’s podium.
Watched by some 3,000 fans, motocross champion Mohd Amirul AshShahid Mohd Salleh a.k.a. Gaban continued his meteoric rise in track racing as he won the novice category in the Superstock Championship on his KTM machine. Second yesterday to Mah Kin Wai, Gaban turned the tables on his challenger as he completed the 15-lap race in 17 minutes 50.476 seconds.
The Supersports open category was again topped by Australian teenager Michael Blair of Petronas Syntium Moto Yamaha Raceline. The novice category was won by Shaiful Bahari Abdul Rahman, who also scored a double victory for the round.
Trophies were presented by Mr On Seng Gee of Pirelli, which is the Official Tyre for the series.
Round 2 for bikes will be held from July 13 to 15 in Sepang.
Results – Malaysian Super Series
Sepang Circuit North Track – 2.706kms (15 laps)
Podium Winners – Race 2/Round 1
Superbike Championship – Class A (Open)
1.Mohamad Syahnas Syahidan (Honda CBR1000) 17:18.710s
2. Steve Martin (Kawasaki ZX10) 17:30.451s
3. Luca Cassoni (Honda CBR1000) 17:31.122s
Superbike Championship – Class B (Novice)
1. Christopher Aprile (Honda CBR1000) 18:07.385s
2. Robert Barraclough (Kawasaki ZX10R) 18:12.352s
3.Mohd Zairie Zaharuddin (Kawasaki ZXR) 18.16.970s
Superstock Championship – Class A (Open)
1. Ahmad Faez Yahya (Ducati) 17:20.960s
2. Nizam Fairuz Hassan (Honda CBR 1000) 17:24.959s
3. Nasarudin Mat Yusop (Honda CBR1000) 17:32.412s
Superstock Championship – Class B
1. Mohd Al-Amirul Ashshahid (KTM RC8) 17:50.476s
2. Mah Kin Wai (Honda CBR1000) 17:50.827s
3. Nik Mohd Azhar Nik Ismail (Honda CBR1000) 17:51.385s
Supersports Championship – Class A (Open)
1.Michael Blair (Yamaha R6) 17:28.932s
2. Mohd Rozaiman Md Said (Yamaha R6) 17:49.426s
(no third place winner)
Supersports Championship – Class B (Novice) (15 laps)
1.Shaiful Bahari Abd Rahman (Kawasaki ZX6R) 17:46.036s
2. Nils Uchida Zakariassen (Kawasaki ZX6R) 17:53.630s
3. Teo Yew Joe (Kawasaki ZX6R) 18:28.391s