The final day of action at the second round of the FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship 2018 at the iconic Quirino Grandstand in Manila proved to be a thrilling one on Sunday. With the Moto1 and Moto2 races being the primary focus of the weekend, it was Denmark’s Simon Vilhelmsen who stole the limelight claiming his second double of the season after winning both races. The result also saw the Dane solidify his position in the fight for the Best International Rider title and championship crown.
Despite the heavy rains the night before, the first Moto1 race was held in scorching conditions making it especially challenging for the riders, as they had to battle a difficult track as well as hot and humid conditions. The drama-filled race saw the riders struggle to find the best lines with most riders, including the championship contenders, falling victim to the notoriously difficult tight and twisty turns at the specially constructed tarmac and off-road track. With the lead of the race changing in the earlier stages of the race, it was Vilhelmsen who prevailed to win the Moto1 race. Meanwhile, taking a step up on to the Moto1 race podium with a solid second place finish was Malaysia’s Muhd Habibullah, also known as Gabit who held off the challenges from Lewis Cornish of the United Kingdom, who settled for third places. Maintaining a strong and consistent form throughout the weekend, local hopefuls Kenneth San Andres and Mark Reggie A. Flores also posted strong results with a fifth and ninth place finish, respectively.
With cooling temperatures for the late afternoon’s Moto2 race, the riders all managed a much better outing, though the battle for the lead on the opening sequence of laps proved a thrilling one between the riders on the front row. Taking full advantage of a strong start, it was Vilhelmsen who got ahead of the rest, keeping his lead through to the chequered flag. Behind the leader, it was a battle royale between Gabit and Cornish as the pair dueled it out all the way to the finish line with the Malaysian edging out Cornish for another impressive second place finish.
Commenting on another double win at the second round of the season, Vilhelmsen notes, “At the start of the weekend, I was really not happy but as the days progressed, I was able to better understand what I needed to do for the win. I am super happy with the results! In race one, I pushed a bit too hard and made a mistake, but I managed to keep the bike running and just concentrated on pushing and managed to get a win in really difficult conditions. In the Moto2 race, my focus was on the starts and managed a great start for the lead and just focused on my consistency through to the end. I have to thank everyone, especially my team for what was a really perfect weekend!”
With two second place finishes to add to his championship tally, an elated Gabit noted, “I am truly thankful for the results from this weekend. My focus was to come and just do my best and was truly delighted with my pace, which was comparable to both Lewis (Cornish) and Simon (Vilhelmsen). The first race was quite tough in the really hot conditions and I could feel it drain my energy, but I had to focus on keeping consistent in all the sections. In the second race, we had a better tyre strategy and could leverage on the off-road sections where I was stronger and keep Lewis behind me.”
“After such an exciting and closely-fought qualifying and SuperChrono shootout yesterday, the action today went up another notch with a thrilling and action-filled Moto1 and Moto2 races. The gripping day of racing was both fast and furious with the riders giving it everything they had as they battled both the scorching hot conditions as well as each other. Congratulations to Simon Vilhelmsen for another superb outing here in Manila taking another double win to cement his lead in the battle for the championship crown. In the fight for the Best Asian rider, full credit has to go to Gabit for an amazing weekend taking the lead in that category after finishing on the podium in P2 for both the Moto1 and Moto2 races! Overall, it has been a truly exciting weekend of racing here at this iconic and historic Quirino Grandstand in Manila. Working with our local entity E-Plus Event Management Philippines Inc, and local partner, Plug and Play 360 Corporation, we are extremely thankful for the support from the Presenting Partner, the Philippine National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Philippine Moto Tourism Council (MTC) as well as NAMSSA, the sanctioning body.” commented Andrew Ching, Chief Executive Officer of E-Plus Global Sdn Bhd, promoter and organiser of the FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship.
From the Philippines, the FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship 2018 now heads to the Indonesian archipelago with the third round taking place in Kupang City, East Nusa Tenggara from 26 to 28 October. The final two rounds will take place at the KF1 circuit in Singapore (23 – 25 November) and Malaysia (30 November – 2 December). All the races will be streamed live through its OTT channel partners, twenty3.tv and twowheels.tv. More information on the FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship is available at www.supermotoasia.com and at www.facebook.com/FIMAsiaSupermoto.
The FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship 2018 is promoted and organised by E-Plus Global Sdn. Bhd., and is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme with the support of Federation Of Motor Sports Clubs Of Thailand (FMSCT), National Motorcycle Sports and Safety Association (NAMSSA), Ikatan Motor Indonesia (IMI), Motor Sports Singapore (MSS) and Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM).