SEPANG: The highly anticipated tie-breaker in the CP150 class ended in Mohd Helmi Azman’s favour when the Honda rider clinched his fourth win of the season at the penultimate round of the Petronas Malaysian Cub Prix Championship.
The Hi Rev SCK Honda Racing rider was at his best in the uncertain weather conditions surrounding the penultimate round at Sepang North Track yesterday.
Dry track conditions at the start of the race soon gave way to a brief downpour on Lap 8. The usual lead-swapping among the top 15 riders in the front group was disrupted when Ahmad Afif Amran of Petronas Sprinta Yamaha-CKJ Racing skidded out of the final lap.
Afif’s crash was the opportunity Helmi needed to sprint to the finish line with Mohd Affendi Rosli of Petronas Sprinta Yamaha-CKJ Racing sticking to his rear tyre.
However, Affendi’s move to make use of the slipstream failed as Helmi retained the upper hand to cross the finish line with a time of 16:00.716,0.017 seconds ahead of his Yamaha rival.
Affendi had to settle for second with 16:00.733, earning his first podium of the season. Mohd Izzat Zaidi Mohd Salehan from the IPONE Yamaha YY Pang Racing Team crossed the finish line in third with 16:03.808.
“Things always get tricky at the Sepang track when there is a downpour in the middle of the race. “Certain parts of the track can become slippery very quickly.
“I had to bank on my in-depth knowledge of this track and its changeable characteristics to stay ahead of the competition, ” said Helmi, who now holds a 12-point advantage at the top of the CP150 pecking order.
His closest rival and fellow Honda rider Azroy Hakeem Anuar finished off the podium for the first time this season, crossing the finish line in fourth place.
With 132 points in the bag, Helmi still needs another podium finish at the season finale to etch his name onto the CP150 trophy.
However, the Hi Rev SCK Honda Racing rider is adamant that the title chase is the furthest thing from his mind.
“I am not about to spend my time in the final race doing mental arithmetics. I have every confidence in our Hi Rev SCK Honda Racing bike and I just want to finish the last race of the season in the best possible position.”
CP150: 1. Mohd Helmi Azman (Honda) Hi Rev SCK Honda Racing 15:00.716,2. Mohd Affendi Rosli (Yamaha) Petronas Sprinta Yamaha-CKJ Racing 15:00.733,3. Mohd Izzat Zaidi Mohd Salehan (Yamaha) IPONE Yamaha YY Pang Racing 15:03.808,4. Azroy Hakeem Anuar (Honda) Idemitsu Honda Yuzy Racing 15:04.047.
Standings: 1. Mohd Helmi Azman (Honda) Hi Rev SCK Honda Racing 132 points, 2. Azroy Hakeem Anuar (Honda) Idemitsu Honda Yuzy Racing 120,3. Mohd Aiman Tahiruddin (Yamaha) Petronas Sprinta Yamaha-CKJ Racing 70.
CP125: 1. Mohd Adib Rosley (Yamaha) IPONE Yamaha YY Pang Racing Team 9:02.205,2. Mohd Shafiq Rasol (Yamaha) ONEXOX TKKR Racing Team 9:02.276,3. Mohd Aiman Azman (Honda) Hi Rev SCK Honda Racing 9:02.332,4. Ahmad Syukran Aizat Mohd Yusoff (Yamaha) Petronas Sprinta Yamaha-CKJ Racing 9:03.156.
Standings: 1. Mohd Shafiq Rasol (Yamaha) ONEXOX TKKR Racing Team 107,2. Mohd Syafiq Rosli (Yamaha) Petronas Sprinta Yamaha Maju Motor 106,3. Mohd Adib Rosley (Yamaha) IPONE Yamaha YY Pang Racing Team 104.