Team KAGAYAMA SUZUKI Asia has completed a successful three-day test at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia in preparation for the upcoming FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC).
Team KAGAYAMA SUZUKI Asia has been formed to race in the ARRC with Yukio Kagayama spearheading the team as General Manager and riders Noriyuki Haga and young 21-year-old Indonesian team newcomer Rafid Topan Sucipto aboard the #41 and #25 GSX-R600s.
The team collected a great amount of valuable data over the eight sessions and also was able to test two types of Dunlop tyres in preparation for opening round of the FIM Asia Road Race Championship at the same venue on April 17-19th.
“Overall, it was a positive and worthwhile test. The trouble we had when shaking the machine down at Suzuka have now been mostly solved and we have definitely made a step forward. However, considering that the races will be held over 25 laps, we need to improve our average lap-times, but I hope we can solve the problems, while keeping the good parts, and be prepared for the race. There are only six races in the Championship, so we cannot drop any of them and I am going to be trying to race at the front from the first race.”
RAFID TOPAN SUCIPTO:
“It’s a like a dream come true that I am racing with Haga as my team-mate and I am happy that the team has chosen me as their rider. I was able to follow Haga on the track and I learned a lot from him, being able to run together with him so closely. I got to learn from his braking and acceleration points and I learned that there were many things that I was missing. Although the season opener in Malaysia is far away from home, my fans and friends are coming to Sepang to cheer for me, so I hope I can show them good results.”
YUKIO KAGAYAMA – General Manager:
“This was the team’s first test and it was a brand new package for the staff and the machine. Although we had one minor incident where Topan crashed, we managed to clear all of our planned testing agenda, and we were able to finish the preparation for the race. Riders, as well as the team have a lot of things left to do, but we were able to confirm the potential of the team. We were also able to confirm what is needed, so I hope that the team continues to work closely and smoothly together, and concentrate on improving and developing the GSX-R600s performance. We were able to form this team, in conjunction with the SUZUKI ASIAN CHALLENGE (SAC), with the help of the sponsors and the personnel involved. I hope that this 600 team will record good results, so that the SAC riders can aim for this team as their first target on their road to the world championships. I plan to do whatever I can to achieve that target.”
SUZUKI ASIAN CHALLENGE IN ARRC
The SUZUKI ASIAN CHALLENGE, which is a new addition to the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) in 2015, held its first official event by participating in the Official Test of the Championship in Sepang International Circuit.
The series is a rider development program for Suzuki riders in Asia and is produced and operated by Yukio Kagayama. The participants in this series will be given the chance to step-up to the Supersport 600 class in ARRC, national championships in Europe and Japan, and eventually to MotoGP in the future. All riders will be provided with Suzuki FU150s on Dunlop tyres to race in this Suzuki one-make category and run at five venues this season.
The official test was held at the beginning of this month at the Sepang International Circuit North Track, where the opening round of the ARRC
will be held on April 17-19th. Some 17 riders from nine countries – India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam – attended the test and all 17 riders qualified to participate in the series.
YUKIO KAGAYAMA – General Manager:
“I am happy that the SUZUKI ASIAN CHALLENGE has finally started. We have been planning this to provide a route for Asian riders to race in a
small engine motorcycle class with the aim of eventually moving up to MotoGP. I would like to thank all the sponsors and parties involved in helping us make this happen. Although this was our first outing, all 17 riders showed that they are well qualified to race in the series, and I
am also happy that we were able to finish the test with no major injuries. The quality of the riders are that of a high standard and we
hope that the riders, through this series, will be able to progress and one day be able to compete at world championship level. We only have two
more weeks to the opening round, but I will do my best to finish the final preparations. I sincerely hope everyone will support us and the
HIDEYUKI OGATA – Rider Coach:
“Since this was the first outing, we started with little information about the riders, but I found in the two days of testing that each and every one of them has the potential to become a world-class rider. By the end of the second day, the level of the riders definitely improved and I am sure that we can expect more from them in the future. We can expect to see close racing with the SUZUKI FU150s and I look forward to teaching our young riders what they need to learn and give them my full support.”
TEAM SUZUKI PILIPINAS
Team Suzuki Pilipinas which is composed of Enzo Rellosa, Mario Borbon and April King Mascardo had a promising start at the testing event clocking 1:30 which are not far from their contenders. The team was accompanied by Suzuki Philippines’ Racing Specialist Mr. Noel Villapando supported by Mr. Yoyong Buncio, Mr. Bobby Mencias and Mr. Rico Cagnaan of Suzuki Philippines Satellite Teams.