malaysia superbike championship

For this writer, the Malaysian Petronas Cub Prix has been the scene of awe and wonder for as long as can be remembered.

Founded in 1994, the series set about with the intention of creating a race series that was “accessible to people from all walks of life”.

According to the wikipedia page of the series, Petronas Cub Prix remains the “only mobile motorsports event that brings the excitement of motorcycle racing to its fans throughout the country”.

The Malaysian Petronas Cub Prix Championship is typically organised on a tight road racing format rather than on a traditional racing circuit.

It is this format that has made the series so nail biting and has also brought it closer to the fans as the series does not rely on tracks, but is able to set up a race track just about anywhere.

The company behind the iconic race series is Two Wheel Motor Racing Sdn Bhd, while the man steering the ship is Ron Hogg (below).

The job landed on Ron’s laps because it was actually his father that started it all.

“I kinda got sucked into it. I used to help my dad out every time I came back for holidays, I was actually studying law at that time, but as fate would have it, I ended up liking what I used to do with my dad, and next thing you know, it has been 30 years already,” said Ron in a recent interview.

The series has been largely successful and has brought Malaysians some household names such as M.Meganathan, Shahrol Yuzi, Wazi Hamid as well as Zulfahmi Khairuddin and more recently Hafizh Syahrin.

But it hasn’t always been that, motorsport is not easy and life can be difficult for a race organiser.

We have had a couple of difficult times in our 30 years, We had the Asian Financial Crisis of the 90s, We were also badly affected when the government banned tobacco advertising. And the lockdowns from the Corona Virus was really bad for us also because we could not organise any mass gatherings and our race series always attracts a crowd. So that effectively stopped all the funding we were receiving, but not the expenses we were facing,” explains Ron.

The challenges faced by Ron were not just limited to the local scene because Two Wheel Motor Racing is also the organiser of the Malaysian Superbike Championship as well as the Asia Road Racing Championship that travels around countries in South East Asia.

“We could not travel because of the restrictions and lock downs, but I am happy to say that in 2020 and 2021, we were the first motorsport series to be given the green light to restart with some help with KBS and KKM.”

Ron is quick to point out that it would have been easy to simply call it quits and pull the plug on the entire thing when everything got really tough during the pandemic. But it would have created a massive chain reaction because the series has given employment to dozens if not hundreds of people.

“Teams rely on us to organise the series, and in the teams you have a lot of people that rely on a salary from the team such as the mechanics, the riders, the people involved in the management of the team. Many people rely on us, and I had to ensure that we kept going because they need us to keep going.”

But besides successfully steering the company out of the woods, Ron says that he particularly loves spending time in the pits, amidst the smell of oil and petrol and under the tropical sun.

“There’s just something about that which I can’t explain. I love being in the pits, I love being among the teams, of course I can’t do much of that these days as I am involved in the commercial side of the business, but that is where my heart lays and what I truly love about my job.”

“But on the flip side, what I don’t like about my job is the bureaucracy involved, especially how motorsport has not progressed enough in the country. For 25 years we have been fighting for more circuits. We don’t need more circuits like Sepang, but smaller ones like Pasir Gudang. It is a pity that Shah Alam is gone. But we need those types of circuit.”

“If you compare with other sports like badminton and football for example, they have all the facilities. In every Malaysian state there are badminton courts and a football stadium. But the reality is, we are not producing the ideal results despite all those facilities. I am not going to get into what’s wrong with the other sports, but if motorsport was given the same opportunity with more circuits, not in all the states but just a few more, I am sure we can produce more results.”

“You just have to look at Malaysian drivers like Alex Yoong and Fariqe Hairuman. They both used to follow their dads to the local circuit. Alex followed his dad to Batu Tina in Shah Alam while Fariqe followed his dad in Johor. Look at what that little opportunity has produced. Both are great world-class drivers, among the best Malaysia has ever produced.”

“We have seen some success in motorsport in Malaysia. And we have a lot of talent that comes from everywhere and anywhere. Be it four or two wheels, we have a lot of talent in Malaysia. We just need to give motorsport an opportunity.”

Ron is undoubtedly right about the need for more circuits around the country, perhaps even drag strips for that matter. But for a man who has been on the helm of arguably one of the most successful motorsport company in the country, I ask him what is his proudest achievement after all these years. And perhaps unsurprisingly, he simply mentioned that he is proud to still be around 30 years after the series first started.

“Every sport needs a strong fundamental base. You just have to take a look at the now defunct A1GP. It sounded good, it started off with a bang, but it wrapped up two years later.”

“After the success of Petronas Cub Prix, we looked around and realised that there was not much going on on the regional level, so we started the Asia Road Racing Championship. I won’t deny that we got lucky too. At that time we had tobacco sponsorship. We had a very good relationship with Philip Morris, and they loved what we were doing and they supported us and our growth.”

“We were always levelling up also. From Petronas Cub Prix to ARRC. But when tobacco sponsorship stopped, we were left out by ourselves. We had to absorb everything ourselves, somehow we managed because we already had strong foundations. Today, I am proud to say that every professional motorcycle racer in Malaysia can trace his roots to Petronas Cub Prix. I am proud of that.”

“But now we have to level up again. We now have MSBK (now MSC) which was managed by Sepang Circuit initially, and now us. At first, it was viewed as a playful series where riders do it for fun. But we turned it into a professional series where the best riders in the country can compete in. If you want to prove yourself on the international platform, doing it in MSC is where you should start first.”

“It is not cheap though, the minimum investment for a team to race in a year will be about RM500,000, and that is just the initial investment and does not involve any crashes or repairs. I want the Petronas Cub Prix team to graduate to MSC now because they have done a fantastic job, but I know it won’t be easy and it won’t be cheap for them.”

As previously mentioned, Malaysia does not lack riding talent. For a small country that arguably lacks motorsport support from the establishment, Malaysia has produced some impressive talent. But Ron argues that some of them retire too early and don’t contribute back to the industry with their experiences.

“We obviously have had some riders that have made it to the CEV series, Moto2 and even Moto3. Some have done well too, while others perhaps have not. But making it that far is not easy and requires talent by itself, together with discipline and a good attitude. I feel that some riders who have made it that far should come back and contribute to help others make their way up there as well. And that is what helps all our local series become relevant, because it becomes the platform for young riders to launch their careers with the guidance of those who have made it up there.”

But racing is not cheap and to make it big in motorsport, sponsorship is important. So how does a rider with talent but with no money make it in motorsport?

Ron admits that money is essential in motorsport, but he also points that talent is equally or perhaps more important than money, as well as discipline and a good attitude.

“Talent gets you noticed, and from there on, if you have good discipline and a good attitude with the right people to support you, they will be able to help you secure the funds to go racing. Everyone wants to be the new Marquez or Rossi, but the trinity of talent, discipline and attitude is important. Manufacturers and sponsors will always support good riders, especially now where there has been a lot of exposure for two-wheel racing. So good riders can get the support quite easily, but riders need a good manager that can help them secure the funding they need to get far.”

Having steered the company and the race championships through some of the most turbulent times for any business in the world, Ron perhaps faces one of the biggest challenge now with the rise of electric motorcycles and with electric race bikes popping up all over the world.

“We are already looking into electric race bikes, but sustainability is key. We lack infrastructure currently but I foresee that we will eventually have an electric race bike series. Of course this poses its own set of risks because electric bikes have different risk factors when compared to regular race bikes, but this is something that will definitely happen. We will see when to start on that.”

Finally, no interview with any two-wheel icon of Malaysia is complete with asking about the country’s ‘rempit’ culture.

“It is unfortunately a culture, and changing a culture requires a long long time. If I were in charge, I would say forget about the current generation, and focus instead on those that are around five years old instead.”

“Rempit culture came from the BMX culture, it is a natural progression for those that started with a BMX to move to motorcycles, and likewise, the wheelie culture moved from the BMX to motorcycles.”

“Unfortunately, rempit’s have got a very bad name. But fact of the matter is, only 2% of motorcyclists are what you call rempit’s.”

Motorcycle racing is undoubtedly one of the things that Malaysia has been good at, and in the hands of passionate and knowledgeable individuals such as Ron who have an obviously good track record, perhaps it is safe to say that Malaysians can only expect great things to come from the two-wheel racing industry.

Ron Hogg would like to take this opportunity to thank all partners for their continued support while he and his team do their best to continue developing the sport to greater heights.

The second and final round of the 2020 Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSBK) was set to take place this weekend from 16-18 October 2020. Boon Siew Honda Racing Team’s Zaqhwan Zaidi was looking forward to sealing his championship crown this weekend but unfortunately, Round 2 has been postponed. (more…)

It was a weekend full of racing action at the Sepang International Circuit as the first round of the Malaysia Superbike Championship 2020 (MSBK) took place. Three races were conducted and for the premier class of MSBK1000, it was Zaqhwan Zaidi from Boon Siew Honda Racing Team that took a clean sweep. CLEAN SWEEP. (more…)

The first round of the Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSC) or MSBK is ready for its first-ever triple-header weekend happening next weekend from 25-27 September 2020. Team Hiap Aik Suzuki Racing and its two main riders, #66 Khoo Chee Yen and #7 Tee Wee Jin, will be continuing their assault this season onboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000R plus its new blue/silver livery inspired by the manufacturer’s 100th anniversary. (more…)

  • The TOC Desmo Cup is the best way for Ducati owners to fully exploit the potential of their bike.
  • Race is open to all owners of the Ducati 848, Panigale 899 and 959, the 1098, 1198, Panigale 1199, 1299 and the brand-new Panigale V4.
  • Registration is open.
  • Round 1 takes place this weekend during the Malaysia Superbike Championship.

The Desmo Owners Club Malaysia (DOCM) will be hosting the first round of the TOC Desmo Cup 2018 during the second round of the Malaysian Superbike Championship.

However, unlike the MSC series which has two race rounds per weekend, the TOC Desmo Cup will only race once in a 10 lap race format.

Taking place on the 27,28 and 29 of July at the Sepang International Circuit, the 2018 installation of the TOC Desmo Cup sees DOCM partnering the TOC Automotive College who comes on board as the title sponsor of the series.

Participants taking part in the series will be racing on their own bikes and the series is open to those riding the Ducati 848, Panigale 899 and 959, the 1098, 1198, Panigale 1199, 1299 and the brand-new Panigale V4.

Entry fee to the series is set at just RM500, while the price is as follows:

Race winners:
– 1st RM600 and trophy
– 2nd RM500 and trophy
– 3rd RM400 and trophy
– 4th trophy only
– 5th trophy only

Overall season championship prize money as follows:

– Overall points champion RM3000 and thropy
– Runners up champion RM2500 and trophy
– 3rd Overall RM2000 and trophy
– 4th Overall RM1500 and trophy
– 5th Overall RM1000 and trophy

The series will receive technical support from Ducati Malaysia who will be sending their trained mechanics to work on bikes. Lubricants will be supplied by Toyo Lubes while Kratos Motorsport, the distributor of K-Tec suspensions in Malaysia, will offer ride and handling support to all riders.

All riders intending to join the series must have a valid AAM license to take part in the races.

The following is the MSBK TOC Desmo Cup Supersport and Superstock Calendar:

– Round 1 : July 27th, 28th and 29th 2018
– Round 2: September 14th, 15th,16th 2018
– Round 3 and 4 : October 5th, 6th, 7th 2018

  • If you’re reading this then there’s a pretty good chance you wouldn’t mind getting paid to work with superbikes.
  • There has been a recent rise in demand for superbike technicians, amid the lack of qualified technicians in the market.
  • TOC Automotive College is now offering a Superbike Technician Course that aims to equip technicians with the proper qualification. Get more info here.
  • The course includes working with a full-fledged race team in order to get the necessary experience from real-world scenarios.

The world of motorcycle racing or any other motorsports for that matter is all about one thing; TEAMWORK. Racers can’t win by themselves and bikes can’t be maintained to their optimum performance without all of the team members and crews.

This is where a dedicated group of individuals comes to play. From team bosses, pit crews to race mechanics and technicians, each person has a huge role to play in obtaining the best possible results during race day.

For superbike technicians, there’s nothing like witnessing your motorcycle racer crossing the finish line and finishing on the podium. Despite the celebrations, all of the work that has been put through in order to achieve the results for your riders however, does not start the night before. Here’s a look into a day in the life of a superbike technician during race day.

After at least a week’s worth of preparation prior to the race weekend, teams as well as their race machines and racers make their way to the track on Friday or Saturday depending on the race series format. Witnessing them functioning as a well-oiled singular unit is nothing short of amazing.

After scrambling through practice and qualifying sessions, it’s time for race day. People often mention the ‘calm before the storm’ but it’s only a temporary silence before the race bikes are fired up and superbike technicians are seen getting everything ready in an organised manner despite all the chaos.

The TOC HKM Racing Team currently competing in the 2018 Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship is a great example of how superbike technicians are trained and develop their skills in the art of motorcycle racing.

It’s all down to one thing and one thing only; getting the bike at its most optimum performance for the rider. From getting the right tyres, fitting the tyre warmers, checking fuel and fluid levels, and everything else in between, it’s a breathtaking sight once you see that high-performance machine ready to blast down the straights and carve through corners as fast as the rider can ride it.

As most of you may have heard, the TOC Automotive College has recently launched their first-ever Superbike Technician Course and part of their program is to get future superbike technicians involved in motorcycle racing as part of their curriculum.

Race days are not just about getting the race bikes ready to battle it out on the track but also provide real-world situations to the superbike technicians from swift maintenance to emergency parts replacements. Maintaining a cool head in a stressful environment will make any person grow and if they are able to practice their craft in the scenario, the results are certainly impressive. This is what the TOC Automotive College is all about.

In other words, TOC’s involvement in motorcycle racing will broaden their students’ knowledge as well as motor skills where some things can’t be obtained by working in garages and workshops. Their recent collaboration with the Malaysia Speed Festival also gave birth to the MSF Motor Racing Study Course which further elevates their dedication in bringing nothing but the best for future superbike technicians.

When it comes to becoming the best Superbike Technician, TOC Automotive College provides the best program catered to any passionate individuals wanting to start their career with motorcycles whether at the workshops or race track.

To know more about TOC’s Superbike Technician Course, CLICK HERE!

  • Round 1 of the 2018 Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSBK) got off to a great start.

  • The long holiday did not deter teams from competing without much time for set ups.

  • Competition was close and exciting in a few classes.

The country may still be having a hangover from a people’s victory from the General Elections, but the 2018 Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSBK) got off to a rousing and positive start, nonetheless.

The General Elections and subsequent holidays had shortened the time available to the teams to set up their bikes for the race. Yet, all teams showed up and used the practice sessions to speed up the process.

But it was refreshing to see that it was very much a family-oriented race series. Most riders and team members had brought along their family along with their spouse and children to the paddock. They ate together. They shared the victories, defeats together. They prayed together.

There are four classes contested this year: Superbike, Superstock, Supersport, and Super 250. Each class is further subdivided into Open and Rookie categories, run together in each race.

Saturday had started warm and proceeded to being blistering hot even before the noon hour. The riders who came back after practice all look beat, yet there are fitter than most of us. There were a few teams that set up inflatable pools behind their pits as contingency in case their riders suffer heatstroke.

Qualifying was subsequently run in scorching heat, yet lap times were surprisingly quick. For example, Chia Motor PJ’s new signing, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman locked down the Superbike pole position with a time of 2:09.506, more than 0.8 second quicker than 2nd placed qualifier Ramdan Rosli of TOC HKMTOYO Racing Team.

Ex-MSBK champion, Rajini Krishnan who runs his own Team RACR now, returned to MSBK competition on a Yamaha R-1M qualified third with a time of 2:11.157.

Qualifying times in all other classes also followed the same template.

However, all the qualifying effort almost amounted to nothing for a few competitors on race day.

A heavy shower in the morning inundated had the track. With heavy cloud cover ahead, the track stayed wet for most parts of the day until later in the afternoon.

For anyone who had ever ridden or driven around the Sepang International Circuit before, the track may look dry as if unmolested by a single drop of rain, only to discover it’s actually soggy.

The first race of the day, Superbike Race 1 got under way under after been declared a WET RACE. While the leaders slipped and slid all over the track, there were six crashers behind them on parts of the track where there was no standing water.

Rajini pushed as hard as he could at the front and won the race commandingly from Ramdan Rosli and Azlan Shah.

Competitors in subsequent categories raced on a wet track, but it was the Race 1 of the Super 250 class which proved to be the most entertaining. The rulebook did not separate the single-cylinder and two-cylinder bikes but it was the former that were faster despite Sepang’s long straights. A six-way battle for the lead developed in the closing stages with some hard passes and kamikaze dives inside each other. And it was that which decided the final results at the last turn on the final lap, when one rider misjudged his brake marker and torpedoed the 2nd-place runner into the dirt. 16-year-old Indonesian rider Surya Narayana fought hard with all comers and came out tops in all three races. On a borrowed bike.

The track started to dry out by Supersport Race 2 and it was the first time that slick Pirelli tyres made their appearance of the day on the Superbikes. Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin of Hong Leong Yamaha Racing won Race 2, following his crash in Race 1. The team worked throughout the interim to fix his bike.

Azlan Shah showed the way in Superbike Race 2 as Ramdan ran into brake problems, while Rajini crashed at the start of Lap 3. Rajini managed to remount and fought his way back up to 5th at the flag.

In the Superstock 1000 races proceeding the superbike races, Azrol Hakeem of Fastthrottle Motorsports rode in commanding fashion to dominate both races.

In closing, it was a great weekend of great racing. Unfortunately, as many were still making their way back into the Klang Valley following the long holiday, there were not as many spectators as expected. They had missed a great spectacle.

Until Round 2 of the 2018 Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship, Selamat Berpuasa dan Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

The Malaysia Superbike Championship 2018 (MSC) will see the TOC HKMTOYO Racing Team competing in the Superbike and Superstock categories.

A four-bike team comprises Mohd Ramdan Rosli, Muhammad Jamalul Tarmizi, Amirul Hafiq Azmi, and Nasarudin Mat Yusop.

Team TOC HKMTOYO Racing will start tomorrow’s races from P2 and P5 in Superbike and P2 and P10 in Superstock.

The newly-formed TOC HKMTOYO Racing Team is ready to set a name for themselves in the Malaysia Superbike Championship 2018 (MSC) this year. With a four-bike team and a list of the nation’s formidable riders and teaming up with the TOC Automotive College, they’re ready to take on the MSC series with full force. (more…)

Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman will start the first round of the Malaysia Superbike Championship 2018 (MSC) tomorrow from pole position.

Riding for the Chia PJ Kawasaki racing team, Azlan stormed through the qualifying session.

The 33-year-old set the fastest time of the day on board Chia PJ’s Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.

Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman together with the Chia PJ Kawasaki racing team has stormed through the first qualifying session in the first round of the Malaysia Superbike Championship 2018 (MSC) earlier today. He has obtained the first pole position of the season after just one week of riding the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. (more…)

The first round of the Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship 2018 (MSC) is set to happen this weekend from 11 to 13 May 2018.

Many will be going after this year’s crown including last year’s champion, Muhammad Farid Badrul Hisam.

Other interesting new entries are Azlan Shah together with Chia PJ Kawasaki and TOC Automotive College.

After an extraordinary moment in Malaysia’s history, the country’s motorcycle racing series that is the Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSC) is ready to kick things off this weekend. From 11 until 13 May 2018, the first round of the MSC 2018 will run its course at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC). (more…)


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