SEPANG, 18 NOVEMBER 2015 - The inaugural Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSC) returns to action at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) this weekend with its final round of the season - offering an extended three-day programme and the return of the Desmo Cup.
Track action will commence as early as Friday with the free practice and qualifying sessions for the Open 250 Championship, which will be staging four races this weekend to crown its maiden champion for MSC. Saturday will feature Race 1 and Race 2 with the final two races scheduled on Sunday, together with the final two races for the main categories – 1000cc Superbike, 1000cc Superstock and the 600cc Supersport championships.
After three rounds, Johor-born lady rider Siti Norafizah Muhamad of BikeART Racing Kawasaki leads the Open 250 Championship with a massive haul of 120 points, and has been in dominant form, winning four of the five races. Azroy Hakeem Anuar of Chia PJ Kawasaki is second with 85 points and privateer Khairul Anwar Jamil is third with 69 points.
But with a massive 100 points up for grabs for the weekend, the championship battle remains wide open and Siti Norafizah, or just Fifi amongst her friends, will be first to acknowledge that nothing can be taken for granted and that a mountainous task awaits her on Saturday and Sunday.
The Desmo Cup, introduced this year as an added attraction for the MSC and for the promotion of motorsports development at the grassroots level, was not featured in Round 3 and 4. It is contested by Ducati owners on various models including the 899, 1089, 848, 1198 and 1199 makes, for the fun of racing. Syamsul Bakhtiar Esa, who competes on a Ducati 899 machine, is the rider to beat in the championship, having won all the races in Round 1 and Round 2.
With a maximum of 50 points up for grabs, the fight for the Superbike Championship overall crown is a three-cornered fight between India’s Rajini Krishnan, Australian Cameron Donald and defending champion Muhammad Zaqhwan Zaidi of Malaysia. With a total haul of 103 points, Rajini has an eight-point advantage over Donald, who in turn has five points more than Zaqhwan.
The battle for the Supercompact overall title is a straight forward fight between defending champion Steve Martin of SBK Martin Racing Team and former champion Ahmad Nashrul Baharuddin of Team Project X. With a total haul of 138 points, the British rider has a comfortable 32-point lead over Ahmad Nashrul.
In contrast to the Superstock Championship, the Supersport Championship is a keener battle between two good friends and teammates from BikeART Racing Kawasaki. With 155 points, defending champion Muhammad Farid Badrul Hisam has a five-point lead over Hazlanshah Mohd Noor, who has 150 points.
SIC is offering paddock passes at RM85 at the paddock entrance for fans wanting to be close to the action in the paddock area. Alternatively, they can catch all the action for free from the Main Grandstand.
RACE PROGRAMME – ROUND 5
Friday, 20 November 2015
1540 hrs – 1610 hrs Open 250 Practice Session
1630 hrs – 1700 hrs Desmo Cup Practice Session
1720 hrs – 1750 hrs Open 250 Qualifying
Saturday, 21 November 2015
1100 hrs – 1130 hrs Desmo Cup Qualifying
1140 hrs – 1210 hrs Superstock Practice Session
1230 hrs – 1300 hrs Open 250 Race 1 (8 laps)
1315 hrs – 1345 hrs Superbike Practice Session
1400 hrs – 1430 hrs Supersport Practice Session
1445 hrs – 1515 hrs Superstock Qualifying
1535 hrs – 1605 hrs Desmo Cup Race 1 (8 laps)
1620 hrs – 1650 hrs Superbike Qualifying
1705 hrs – 1735 hrs Supersport Qualifying
1755 hrs – 1825 hrs Open 250 Race 2 (8 laps)
Sunday, 22 November 2015
0910 hrs – 0950 hrs Superstock Race 1 (12 laps)
1010 hrs – 1040 hrs Open 250 Race 3 (8 laps)
1100 hrs – 1140 hrs Superbike Race 1 (12 laps)
1200 hrs – 1240 hrs Supersport Race 1 (12 laps)
1300 hrs – 1330 hrs Desmo Cup Race 2 (8 laps)
1400 hrs – 1440 hrs Superstock Race 2 (12 laps)
1500 hrs – 1530 hrs Open 250 Race 4 (8 laps)
1550 hrs – 1630 hrs Superbike Race 2 (12 laps)
1650 hrs – 1730 hrs Supersport Race 2 (12 laps)