Ratthapong Wilairot saved his best for last when he stole pole position ahead of Sunday’s PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship race at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand.
The Thai Honda Racing Thailand rider put an inch-perfect lap in the closing minutes of a hectic SuperSports 600cc qualifying session, roaring to pole in 1’40.460s, a thousandth of a second ahead of compatriot, Jakkrit Swangswat (AP Honda Thailand) while championship leader, Katsuaki Fujiwara (BEET Kawasaki Racing) locked out the front row in 1’40.600s.
Suzuka (Round 4) winner, Yuki Ito (PETRONAS Hong Leong Yamaha) will start the 16-lap race from row two having qualified fourth fastest with 1’40.770s, lining alongside Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi (Musashi Boon Siew Honda Racing) and Tomoyoshi Koyamaa (T.Pro Yuzy Honda NTS) who clocked their quickest lap in 1’40.788s and 1’40.827s respectively.
Speaking about his targets for tomorrow, Ratthapong commented, “This being my home race, I want to win and sing the Thai national anthem in front of my countrymen. But it will not be easy because we anticipate the competition to be extremely close with the top-11 riders separated less than a second. Anyway, I will do my best.”
1.Ratthapong Wilairot (Honda) 1’40.460s 2.Jakkrit Swangswat (Honda) 1’40.461s 3.Katsuaki Fujiwara (Kawasaki) 1’40.600s 4.Yuki Ito (Yamaha) 1’40.770s 5.Zaqhwan Zaidi (Honda) 1’40.788s