NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA, 4 SEPTEMBER 2016 – The first round of the 2016 FIM Asia Supermoto Championship drew to a close on the back of some of the best racing with each competitor vying for the spot as Asia’s best all-round rider.
Local boy, Luke George (#101), who grabbed pole during qualifying and went on to win on Saturday, continued on his winning streak by securing victory today. Malaysian Mohd. Habibullah – better known as Gabit (#27) – secured an emphatic runner’s up position after fighting tooth and nail against another Australian, Andrew McLiesh (#217).
The day began with many new promises with bright sunshine and softer breeze, compared to Saturday’s balmy skies and high winds off the sea. The sunny weather drew in spectators by the droves. Families – no doubt celebrating Fathers’ Day – lined the scenic Newcastle Foreshore trackside. The sweet aroma of BBQ hung in the air, replacing the exhaust fumes. The hillside adjacent to the dirt section was packed. A moderate estimate put the attendance between 25,000 to 28,000.
Lack of rain on the previous night had also allowed the dirt to fully dry. Besides that, the infield dirt section had also been reworked and made more balanced against the tarmac section. The former’s original nature proved to be overly complex and that disparity had allowed full-time dirt-riders to break away too easily from the rest of the pack.
George grabbed the holeshot at the drop of the flag. Starting from the right-most side of the grid, he swung past everyone else into the first turn, which led to the dirt section. It was bedlam behind as 27 other riders jostled among themselves for a way through. A stalled rider caused a 3-bike pile up. Thankfully, the riders were able to rejoin without injuries.
Gabit then started fighting with McLiesh, while keeping sight of George. McLiesh got close on a few occasions, but Gabit responded each time. It was apparent that Gabit was determined to hold on to his track standing, despite being caught out by a rut in the dirt section’s hairpin on Lap 13. He wasn’t passed by others, but that miscue allowed George to retain his lead.
“Coming out on top in the race was unexpected. The track today was in great condition and no mistake was made, and I think this was the winning factor for my race today,” said George.
Gabit expressed his happiness through tears of joy upon completing the race. “I rose from sixth in grid to second. I was advantageous when a few riders made mistakes in beginning of the race. That promoted me to third spot after the start. McLiesh attempted to overtake me a few times but I managed to hold him at bay. I am really proud with my performance today and hope for the same in Malang.”
Luke George completed his race at 22:33.777, in front of Gabit at 22:36.097. Andrew McLiesh was right behind Gabit at 22:36.592. The former was however deemed to have jumped the start. As there is no ride-through penalty, 10 seconds were added to his overall time, dropping him to fourth. Michael Kirkness (#387) was promoted to third.
The scoring system provides separate points for the FIM Asia and Australian Open series respectively.
Luke George scored first overall on 50 points, Micheal Kirkness is in second with 42 points, and Gabit in third with 37 points in the Australian Open Series.
In the FIM Asia Supermoto Championship, Gabit is the overall leader 50 points, being the highest placed Asian rider in both races. Khairi Zakaria (#32) is in second with 42 points after finishing 2nd and 3rd highest respectively, and Gabit’s brother Mohd. Al-Amirul Ashshahid – better known as Gaban – is in third after accumulating 40 points.
There were further incidences as the race progressed. Shinji Tomita of Japan showed up late at the starting grid after being torpedoed by another competitor who had brake failure. Australian Corey Turner and the young Japanese rider, Makoto Arai skidded out at the final turn and were ruled unfit to continue. All three riders walked away with minor injuries.
The 2016 FIM Asia Supermoto Championship heads to Malang, Indonesia for Round 2, on 8th and 9th October, 2016.
For more race updates, information and announcements, visit www.supermotoasia.com or e-mail us at email@example.com.
FIM Asia Supermoto Championships 2016 is a regional supermoto championship organised by Asia Supersports Group, a consortium of three companies namely Bikenation Motorsports Sdn Bhd, CW Media Sdn Bhd and E-Plus Entertainment Productions (M) Sdn Bhd, and supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, Malaysia Major Events, Malaysia Truly Asia, Destination NSW, Tourism Hunter, Newcastle City Council, FIM Asia, Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM), KYT, KTM Malaysia and Premium World Motorsports (PWM) Sdn Bhd, official distributor of Husqvarna in Malaysia.
Open Class Race Results:
|Standing||Name||Country||Total Time (R2)||Points||Overall Points|
|8||Mohd Al-Amirul Ashshahid||Malaysia||23:19.101||8||14||22|
|14||Richard Dibben||New Zealand||18:31.820||14||0||14|
|15||Chris Hodgson||United Kingdom||19:29.118||13||0||13|
|17||Ivan Romero Garcia||Spain||22:54.300||3||8||11|
|21||Fahmi Ahmad Fauzi||Indonesia||23:16.640||4||0||4|
Asian Class Race Results:
|Standing||Name||Country||Total Time (R2)||Points||Overall Points|
|3||Mohd Al-Amirul Ashshahid||Malaysia||23:19.101||18||22||40|
|7||Fahmi Ahmad Fauzi||Indonesia||23:16.640||13||14||27|
ABOUT FIM ASIA
Founded in 1904, the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme is an international organisation, which was created to control and develop the sporting and touring aspects of motorcycling and to assist motorcycle users in those fields. The FIM as defined in the statutes is the supreme and sole international authority empowered to control international motorcycling activities organised under its jurisdiction throughout the world and as such acts as the supreme court for the settlement of disputes which may arise from the organisation of such activities. The official titles of World Championships, Continental Championships and FIM Prize events in all disciplines of the motorcycle sport belong to the FIM. FIM Asia is comprised of 28 National Motorcycle Federations in Asia where they organize a large number of events and Championships in over 30 Asian countries.
ABOUT MALAYSIA MAJOR EVENTS
Malaysia Major Events (MME) is a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia (MoTAC). MME was established under the Government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) to identify, promote, facilitate as well as support viable international events to be staged in Malaysia. With its main objective to enhance Malaysia’s economic growth and profile, MME is also tasked to identify and support major event bids for sports, arts, lifestyles and entertainment events and provide assistance to home-grown and home-hosted events in order to further strengthen Malaysia’s global appeal as the venue of choice for major events in the region. MME also acts as a conduit between the public and private sectors in ensuring seamless processes are achieved through synergistic relationships with diverse event stakeholders in staging successful events in Malaysia.
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ABOUT ASIA SUPERSPORTS GROUP SDN BHD
Asia Supersports Group Sdn Bhd (ASG) is a consortium of 3 companies namely Bikenation Motorsports Sdn Bhd, CW Media Sdn Bhd, and E-Plus Entertainment Productions (M) Sdn Bhd. Collectively, this consortium has over 30 years of experience in the automotive and event industry in Asia. Bikenation Motorsports as the Technical Partner of ASG, bring with them years of experience of managing and organising local and international SuperMoto races. They have promoted this sport to all over Asia and have helped nurture local talents of SuperMoto riders in Asia. CW Media Sdn Bhd, ASG Media Partner, is a motoring publication company, which is also the license holders for Bonnier Corporation (Sweden) which publishes world renowned motorcycle titles such as Cycle World, Motorcyclists and Super StreetBike. In Malaysia, they publish Cycle World Malaysia and On The Road and are also the founders of MotoJamm, an international motorcycle freestyle entertainment event and www.trademysuperbike.com, Asia’s top motorcycle classifieds/ecommerce website. E-Plus Entertainment Productions (M) Sdn Bhd is ASG’s Production Partner, which is one of Malaysia’s and Asia’s top event management agency with over 20 years of experience, managing thousands of world class events. Some of the top events organised are the ATP Malaysia Open, Junior World NBA and Twin Towers Live.
ABOUT E-PLUS ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTIONS
Incorporated in 2004, the award-winning group is the brainchild of a dynamic and creative team, which provides innovative and creative ideas in the events management industry. The group holds a wide portfolio, with an array of international clientele from the private sector and public sector, as well as non-profit organisations. Recognised as one of the top-ranked and experienced Events Management agencies in the region, the group seeks to further elevate industry practices with its unique, creative and innovative ideas. In 2015, the group introduced Media and Communications Management as one of its new services, providing a one-stop integrated marketing solution for clients and also expanded its operations to Singapore.