The fourth round of the continent’s premier two-wheeler racing event concluded with West scripting his fourth win of the season.
Chennai: The Australian national anthem reverberated around the sprawling Madras Motor Racing Track again as Anthony West completed a grand double in the SuperSport 600cc category of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship here on Sunday.
The fourth round of the continent’s premier two-wheeler racing event concluded with West scripting his fourth win of the season. The 37-year-old Aussie (136 points) thus extended his championship lead to 51 points.
West, who had set a new lap record at the MMRT with an astonishing effort of 1’40.585s in the qualifying session before storming to victory in Race 1, continued his marauding march on Sunday. While West blasted away from the rest of the field and held the lead firmly in his grasp, the focus moved to an enthralling battle for the second spot. It was a three-horse contest with Mohammed Zaqhwan Zaidi (Malaysia), Taiga Hada (Japan) and Tomoyoshi Koyama (Japan) jostling for positions. In the end, it was Koyama who held his nerve and Hada had to, once again, settle for the final spot on the podium.
The climax of the 16-lap race had the spectators on the edge as one of the title contenders — Japan’s Yuki Ito — crashed out spectacularly on the last corner with the chequered flag within touching distance. As a fleet of vehicles zoomed past him, Ito got up and pushed his bruised machine with deflated rear to take the final spot. The roaring grandstand stood up in unison to applaud the steely Japanese.
West, a first-timer to Chennai, said the track was one of the most challenging circuits. “It’s a very physical track and not easy to make overtaking manoeuvres. The humidity makes it more demanding. Unlike yesterday, I had to push from the beginning to establish a good lead,” said West.
The fifth and final rounds will be held at Indonesia and Thailand respectively.
Supersport 600cc: 1. Anthony West (Australia, Yamaha); 2. Tomoyoshi Koyama (Japan, Honda); 3. Taiga Hada (Japan, Honda).
Asia Production 250cc: 1. Rafid Topan Sucipto (Indonesia, Yamaha); 2. Andy Muhammad Fadly (Indonesia, Kawasaki), 3. Anupab Sarmoon (Thailand, Yamaha).
Underbone 150cc: 1. Ahmad Fazli Sham (Malaysia, TKKR Racing); 2. Md Helmi Azman (Malaysia, Honda); 3. Travis Hall (Australia, Honda).