Press Release: Despite overnight rain affecting the warm-up session on the final day of racing in the Suzuki Asain Challenge at Suzuka International Circuit in Japan, the second race on Sunday saw some of the most exciting racing in Suzuki’s single-platform series history.
Now using the all new Suzuki Satria F150, pole sitter April King Mascardo #43 from the Philippines set the pace at the beginning with his three Indonesian rivals, Jefri Tosema #20, Muhammad Sapril #87, and Rizal Feriyadi #30 making-up the leading group. The four pulled away from the rest of the field at one point, but by the middle of the race, Race 1 winner and Mascardo’s team-mate Eane Jaye Solacito Sobretodo #22 caught up, making it a five-way battle.
The second group – Jagan Kumar (India) #5, Maxi Hattori (Japan) #11, Rozaliman Zakaria (Malaysia) #12, Arsyad Rusydi (Singapore) #14 and Shinnosuke Sato (Japan) #27 – also caught up with the leading group with three laps to go, making it a 9-way battle for the win. But Mascardo crashed into the safety barrier at the final chicane, making it an eight-way race to the flag.
It was a close battle with all eight riders jumping into the final chicane neck-and-neck. Sapril just pulled-out ahead to win, which was his third of the season, with Feriyadi second and local rider Sato third for his first podium of the season.
The fourth round of the Suzuki Asian Challenge, run in conjunction with the 2016 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, is scheduled to take place at Sentul International Circuit in Bogor, Indonesia on August 5-7th.
Muhammad Sapril – Race 2 Winner: “I discussed with my team-mates Jefri and Rizal for us to try and lead the race. I made a good start and was setting-up my race so that I could take the lead at the very end and I was able to pull-out from the group at the final chicane and win the race. I will try to keep my position in the standings and win the Championship for Indonesia two years in a row.”
Yukio Kagayama – General Manager: “We displayed the MotoGP™ Suzuki GSX-RR and Team KAGAYAMA’s GSX-R1000 Suzuka 8-Hour model in the pits for the SAC riders to see them. It is their dream to one day become a rider that would be able to race on it, so I thought that it would be a good opportunity for them to see the actual machine. The riders were all mesmerised and I was happy to see them like that.
“Race 2 was just like Race 1: The riders gave us a very exciting race. The final chicane of the final lap, where eight riders jumped into the corner at once was very exciting and I witnessed the one of the best races in SAC history.
“The standings are changing every race and the season will now be going into the second half. The next race is in Indonesia and I am sure the local riders will come out with full motivation, so I am looking forward to it.”
Shunji Yatsushiro – Rider Coach: “It was a dramatic race once again for us to watch. It must have been a difficult one with so many riders going into the final chicane at once, but it was amazing to see that nobody crashed in that situation. I was sorry that Mascardo crashed-out earlier, but overall it was a very good race and I hope to see them race fairly by respecting each other again in Indonesia.”