SEPANG, 2December 2016–With the championship crown as his ultimate target, Ahmad Nashrul Baharuddin of Team Project X will be taking a cautious approach at the Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSBK) at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) this weekend.
Holding a comfortable lead in the Superstock Championship, Ahmad Nashrul – a former Asia Road Racing (ARRC) rider and a multiple champion during the old Malaysian Super Series (MSS) days – is determined to add the coveted MSBK overall title to his long list of honours won at Malaysia’s Home of Motorsports.
Overall winner for the 135cc Production Bike Championship, the 150 Kawasaki Cup and the Superstock Championship during the time of the MSS, Ahmad Nashrul has collected 127 points in the first three rounds this season, holding a 21-point lead over JouniKarhu, who has 106 points.
“It will be incredible to add the MSBK crown to my collection of overall titles. I was very close last year when SIC introduced the MSBK. Hopefully 2016 will be the year for me and Project X Racing Team,” said Ahmad Nashrul, who had to play bridesmaid to Britain’s Steve Martin last season.
MohdRadzi Omar, Ahmad Nashrul’s teammate in Team Project X, who is third with 105 points commented, “It will be a totally different kind of atmosphere this weekend. We are not just looking at competing in two consecutive rounds,with four tough races and a maximum of 100 points to be won this weekend, we are also looking at unpredictable and challenging weather conditions,which we have observed since the past few weeks. I hope we have a dry race this weekend.”
In the Superbike Championship, Nashrul’s elder brother, Ahmad FuadBaharuddin, who has 122 points, holds a slim seven-point advantage over former Australian superbike champion, Cameron Donald, who has 115 points. Colin Edward Butler is third overall with 86 points, while defending champion Rajini Krishnan of India is fifth overall with 73 points.
With Ahmad Fuad skipping the MSBK to focus on the participation of his racing team in the Asian Road Racing Championship this weekend inBuriram, Thailand, the battle for the championship crown remains open with any of the top leaders capable of winning the coveted crown, especially with the participation of Malaysian Moto2 rider HafizhSyahrin Abdullah in the Superbike class this weekend.
For the Supersport Championship, Germany’s Ismael Smajli looks a strong bet to win the 2016 championship based on his performance in the previous three rounds. Now with 114 points, Smalji holds a healthy 31-point lead over AzroyHakemAnuar, who has 83 points. Former Moto3 rider AmirulHafiqAzmi is third with 68 points.
The Open 250 Championship looks set to be decided between Khairul Anwar Jamil and Muhammad JazilJuraimi who are locked at the top of the standings with 135 points each. Singapore veteran Angelo Neo is too far off the pace set by the young leaders, with 87 points and is thus unlikely to challenge the dynamic duo’spersonal duel.
Riders from all championships will be engaged in free practice and qualifying sessions on Friday, 2 December before squaring off against each other in two races for Round 4 on Saturday and another two races on Sunday for the final round.
The Malaysian Championship Series (MCS) for cars will also feature its final race this weekend with a 300-kilometer battle for both the Touring Production and Malaysian Touring Car championships to close the season.