Suzuki‰Ûªs new single-platform Suzuki Asian Challenge series continues to go from strength-to-strength and the fourth round at Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand proved another exciting event that produced ultra-competitive racing throughout the weekend.
A total of 17 riders from nine countries took part on the identically-prepared Suzuki FU150s (called ‰Û÷Satria‰Ûª in Indonesia, Belang and Malaysia and ‰Û÷Raider‰Ûª in Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines). In order to maintain fairness, the riders get to choose their machine at the very beginning of every race week. The order of the selection is decided by the result from race two at the previous round, with the rider that finished last choosing first.
Indonesian Adhi Chandra (#99) took pole position with a lap time of 2'18.967 with local favourite Patis Chooprathet (#98) and Indonesian series leader Andreas Gunawan (#43) third.
The opening race on Saturday provided exciting and close racing from the start with the lead changing a virtually every corner and a total of 12 riders in the hunt until the final corner when Gunawan took victory ahead of Japan‰Ûªs #83 rider Takeru Murase ‰ÛÒ his third win of the season ‰ÛÒ and Chooprathet third.
Sunday‰Ûªs second race proved another exciting battle from start-to-flag, although there were a few fallers, including Gunawan and Chooprathet. Victory went to Murase, who moved into second position in the series. Kai Saito (#71) took his first podium with second place ahead of Chandra.
‰ÛÏI am happy that I was able to win again." Murase said. "I was able to run good lap-times from day one so I was able to simulate where I should position myself during the race to win it. The passing points are at the final ‰Û÷S‰Ûª curve and final corner, but I was passed at the final corner in race one.
"I made sure I could run the line I wanted and was able to pass Kai (Saito) to win the race. We have a three month interval to the final round so I plan to prepare well so that I can win both races at the final round.‰Û