Katsuaki Fujiwara improved on the 1:05.569 qualifying lap record he set last year, as he posted 1:05.184 to take pole position for the SuperSports 600cc race in Sepang.
SEPANG: Katsuaki Fujiwara of Japan is bent on ending Honda’s dominance in the Petronas Asia Road Racing Championships (ARRC) as he stormed to take the SuperSports 600cc pole position at the Sepang International Circuit.
The BEET Kawasaki rider even improved on the 1:05.569 qualifying lap record he set last year, as he posted 1:05.184 to take pole position.
Malaysia’s Mohd Zamri Baba of Musashi Boon Siew Honda will start from second on the grid after posting 1:05.326 in qualifying. Zamri’s team-mate Makoto Tamada of Japan completes the front row in 1:05.385.
Fujiwara, winner of the 2011 championship, is determined to end Honda’s two-year winning streak. Ryuichi Kiyonari took the win for Honda in 2012 while current Moto2 world championship rider Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman took the title home for Honda last year.
“I’m very happy to grab the pole position for the fourth time here and clocking a new lap record in the process. The track conditions were good, the feeling was good on the bike so I hope to win both races tomorrow.”
Since competing in the ARRC in 2011, Fujiwara has never failed to win at least one of the two races in Sepang.
“I’m expecting a tough battle tomorrow, especially in the first 15 laps but hopefully I can pull away with the win,” said the 39-year-old.
Meanwhile, Malaysians dominated the Underbone 130cc qualifying with Ahmad Fazli Sham, Mohd Affendi Rosli and Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa occupying the front row.
Fazli of Petronas Hong Leong Yamaha blazed the tracks with a time of 1:20.971 to take the pole position while team-mate Affendi stopped the clock on 1:20.980 for second and Amirul of T. Pro Yuzy Honda got third in 1:21.115.