PETALING JAYA: Denmarks Poul Erik Jensen notched his first wins in the Pirelli Superbike Open Championship at the Sepang circuit yesterday to turn the heat on overall leader Lee Ching Hooi.
Jensen won the two races in the third leg of the six-round championship to narrow the gap in the standings to just five points behind Ching Hooi, who now has 55 points after finishing second in both races yesterday.
The Dane's efforts have left Ching Hooi with plenty to think about before they resume competition in the fourth round on Sept 19.
Obviously, Jensen was faster in the straight and when coming into Turn 3. I lost a few seconds there and when I got close to him, he beat me again in the straight and at Turn 3, said Ching Hooi, who was beaten for the first time this season.
Second overall last season, Ching Hooi was looking forward to producing another dominating performance after clocking a fast time of 1:09.977 on the circuit's 2.706-km North Track in qualifying on Saturday.
If you look at my lap times today, they were very, very good. I would say that I gave my best performance today but Jensen obviously found a few more horsepower, said Ching Hooi.
As both climbed the podium for the prize presentation, Jensen was heard saying not today, my friend, as he ushered Ching Hooi to the second spot.
In fact, Jensen could have made it a perfect weekend for himself by winning the Supersports title as well.
After winning Race One, Jensen was on his way to victory in the second race before he slipped and fell on the 11th lap of the 15-lap race.
The mishap paved the way for veteran Armand Ali, who is making a comeback to competition, to win the race.
Race 1 (15 laps): 1. Poul Erik Jensen (Yamaha R1) 17:36.063, 2. Lee Ching Hooi (Yamaha R1) 17:40.485, 3. Keith Perkins (Suzuki GSXR1000) 17:54.583.
Race 2 (13 laps): 1. Jensen 15:22.976, 2. Ching Hooi 15:25.051, 3. Perkins 15:36.652.
Race 1 (15 laps): 1. Jensen (Honda 600 R8) 18:13.521, 2. Armand Ali (Kawasaki ZX600) 18:15.486, 3. Kenny Lee Yamaha R6 (18:15.936).
Race 2 (15 laps): 1. Nils Uchida (Yamaha R6) 18:23.771, 2. Armand 18:25.556, 3. Lim Kai Siong (Yamaha 600) 18:25.989.
n PRODUCTION BIKES
Race 1 (10 laps): 1. Mohd Rhamzy Rahim (Yamaha RXZ ) 13:35.793, 2. Ma Woon Loon (Yamaha RXZ) 13:57.398, 3. Dalnizwan Hakim (Yamaha 125) 13:59.674.
Race 2 (10 laps): 1. Dalnizwan 13:59.674, 2. Chua Chee Tat (Yamaha RXZ) 14:09.065, 3. R. Suresh (Yamaha RXZ) 14:10.023.