Suzuki Racing



Team Suzuki Press Office – December 6.

Suzuki’s exciting and hotly-contested one-make Championship, SUZUKI ASIAN CHALLENGE, was decided at Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand on Sunday with Indonesian Jefri Tosema clinching the title.

But on the day, it was Mario Borbon Jnr. from the Philippines who took victory in the 10th and final race of the season that has visited Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand (twice) with its full line-up of 20 riders from 10 different countries, SAC staff and mechanics; who have prepared all the new 2016 Suzuki F150 machines during the past nine months.

With the aim of the Suzuki Development Programme to nurture young riders and help progress them to national and international level – with the top goal MotoGP™ - all riders made substantial improvements during the year under the leadership of General Manager Yukio Kagayama and Rider Coach Shunji Yatsushiro.

The race weekend started with six title contenders: #12 Rozaliman Zakaria (Malaysia), #20 Jefri Tosema (Indonesia), #87 Muhammad Sapril (Indonesia), #22 Eane Jaye Solacito (Philippines), #43 April King Mascardo (Philippines) and #30 Rizal Feriyadi (Indonesia). After Race 1 on Saturday – won by Tosema - the title-chase came down to three riders: Tosema, Sapril and Zakaria.

SAC boasts a low rate of DNF's, with fair and clean battles from the riders, as this is one of Kagayama's main teaching to the riders. No gain if you crash out… However, Race 2 was different, with all riders fighting for the win.

From the start, #41 Akito Haga, son of Noriyuki Haga, showed speed taking the lead in the early stages of the race, but the lead then changed every lap. At halfway point of the race, a pack of five riders, including title-contender Tosema and Zakaria slipped-off avoiding another rider crashing and this gave Sapril a chance for the title, but still recovering from multiple fractures in his leg, he wasn't able to show strength to take the lead. Tosema and Zakaria rejoined the race, but were both far from the leaders.

Team Philippines took this opportunity, with all three in the top-three on the final lap. Team Philippines showed great improvement from 2015, with at least one of them fighting for the win in every race this season, so a podium-sweep would add another accolade to their history in racing. But as they approached the final turn of the race, Sobretodo and Mascardo fell and team-mate Borbon Jr. took the lead to win his first race in SAC ahead of Feriyadi and Shinnosuke Sato (Japan) - his second podium of the season.

Final SAC Point Rankings:

1. #20 Jefri Tosema (Indonesia) 159
2. #87 Muhammad Sapril (Indonesia) 143
3. #12 Rozaliman Zakaria (Malaysia) 138
4. #30 Rizal Feriyadi (Indonesia) 115
5. #43 April King Mascardo (Philippines) 107
6. #22 Eane Jaye Solacito (Philippines) 105
7. #29 Mario U. Borbon Jr. (Philippines) 104
8. #27 Shinnosuke Sato (Japan) 88
9. #11 Maxi Hattori (Japan) 75
10. #5 Jagan Kumar (India) 65
11. #14 Arsyad Rusydi Shaharum (Singapore) 53
12. #41 Akito Haga (Japan) 46
13. #46 Aaron Gunawardena (Sri Lanka) 38
14. #21 Nguyen Ngoc Ho (Vietnam) 29
15. #96 Bikram Thapa (Nepal) 21
16. #23 Kannan Subramaniam (India) 19
17. #78 Md Iqbal Azhar (Malaysia) 16
18. #81 Nattapat Suprasertkamkit (Thailand) 14
19. #50 Mithun Kumar (India) 12
20. #39 Nguyen Hoang Anh Dung (Vietnam) 7

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