The Asian Grand Prix – The Winning Formula
The FIM Asia Road Racing Championship is Asia’s premiere motorcycle road racing championship, featuring three exciting race classes -Underbone 125cc, GP125cc, and SuperSports 600cc. The FIM Asia Road Racing Championship is a championship in a class of its own. It is the only motorcycle championship to span the Asian continent, moving from Malaysia, to the Philippines, to China, and Indonesia. It is the only championship to attract the participation from the best riders from the region and some participants from Great Britain, and New Zealand. It is the only championship to run a premiere 4-stroke category, the SuperSports 600cc class; a GP class – the GP125cc; and a rider development class – the Underbone 125cc.
Introduced in 1997, the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship is sanctioned by the Federation Internationale Motocycliste (FIM) as the FIM’s Continental Championship for Asia. Since its inception, the championship’s objectives have always been to groom Asian champions for the international road racing arena. The FIM Asia Road Racing Championship acts as a stepping stone for Asian riders to progress to after their national championships. From this training ground, Asian riders hone their skills by racing on machines that are similar in power and class to those used in the FIM world events before they make their debut in international racing.
The FIM Asian Crown in the SuperSports 600cc, GP125cc, and Underbone 125cc are the most hotly contested titles in Asian road racing. Each round of the Asian Grand Prix is packed with high-powered excitement and the thrills and spills of motorcycle road racing.
A Matter of Marketing
Marketing the Asian GP, or any other sport for that matter, is similar to marketing any other successful product. Like all successful brands, the Asian GP has its core fan base which is predominantly male (77%), relatively young (approx. 16 to 35 years of age), identifies with the thrills and spills of motor racing, and always on the lookout for ways to associate themselves with the sport of motor racing. More than anything else, they want something that they can relate to, and a hero they can look up to. It is from this base that brand association and brand loyalty is built.
Motorcycle racing enjoys a high level of popularity among Asian consumers. The races are conducted using homologated motorcycles available at all motorcycle showrooms and this allows spectators to relate to the races because they are watching motorcycles that they use every day. Ticket prices for motorcycle racing events are also more affordable and the action-packed programme delivers good value for money.
Platform for Growth
Motorsports marketing is a highly effective and tightly targeted marketing platform that is unique in its glamour and prestige. Few sports can generate such emotion and excitement which is the reason why motorsports is growing in popularity each season.
If it wins, it must be good – the race track is the ultimate test of endurance and reliability of any product. No other environment can provide such extremes in performance conditions and race conditions can push performance beyond every day limits. Which is why motorcycle manufacturers will be the first to acknowledge that a single win on the race tracks can push more sales than conventional advertising methods. The old adage still holds true to this day… if it wins, it must be good.
Move your product branding to the highest read segment – statistics have shown that the highest read segment in all newspapers is the sports pages. Motorsports marketing is the best opportunity to highlight the brand name and its associations in the most widely read segment of every newspaper.
Credible spokespersons – the teams and riders in the Asian GP are the best in Asia. These professionals are often known as the experts in their field and as such, makes credible spokespersons that the consumers can easily relate to.
One sponsorship, one continent – no other motor racing championship in Asia offers branding and publicity opportunities in so many Asian countries. Press reports about the progress of the championship is continually carried throughout the season in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Australia. As such, sponsorship benefits is not limited to just one round in each host country but is continuously highlighted as the championship progresses to its grand finale.
Cultivating brand loyalty – motorsports is the perfect platform for merchandising activities. From T-shirts to key chains, from bags to watches, from caps to autographed posters, merchandising is a highly effective method for consumers to display their brand preference and loyalty.
Be a part of our winning formula. Marketing opportunities available include Title Sponsor, Co-sponsor, Series Sponsor, Round Sponsor, and Team Branding.
About Asia Road Racing Championship
Two Wheels Motor Racing (TWMR) is the race promoters for the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship. A wholly owned subsidiary of Safe Aim Mutual Sdn Bhd, TWMR has been promoting the Asian Grand Prix since 1996.
Two Wheels Motor Racing is also an agent for motorsports-related insurance policies, including motorsports insurance for events, equipment, racers, and team personnel. To contact us, call 03-8733 8787 or fax 03-8733 1122.
RACE RESULTS: Hamaguchi Kicks Off 4th Title Defense with Double Victory in Sentul
3-times SuperSports 600cc Champion, Toshiyuki Hamaguchi, kicked off his 4th title defence in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship on a triumphant note when he bagged 2 victories in the 2005 opening leg that was held in Jakarta, Indonesia over the weekend. Race 1 saw Hamaguchi who is now racing for team China Yuan XG Jao cruising to an easy finish with a time of 28:48.391. Hamaguchi won Race 2 with a time of 28:45.622.
However, Hamaguchi was the only one to enjoy a relatively trouble-free race. All the riders concurred that track conditions was quite slippery. As a result, Race 1 in the SuperSports 600cc class saw several early retirements. Ahmad Fuad Baharudin and Masayuki Yamanaka were among the leading pack until Fuad overtook Hamaguchi on Lap 5. While trying to pull away from Hamaguchi, Fuad braked too late into Turn 3 and crashed out of the lead. Yamanaka faced transmission failure and was forced to limp his way around the 3.965km track for the rest of the race. Both retirements handed podium finishes to Md Suhadi Ali Rahmat who stepped up to take 2nd place with 29:03.244 and Indonesian rider Ahmad Jayadi who eventually finished 3rd with 29:03.244.
By Race 2, both Ahmad Fuad and Masayuki Yamanaka were back on form and seemed to have recover from their early disasters in Race 1. The 2 riders rode in formation behind the leading Hamaguchi and even though Yamanaka made several attempts to challenge Fuad for 2nd place, the Malaysian was able to defend his race position. Fuad edged ahead of Yamanaka to finish 2nd with 28:46.083, his best result in the SuperSports 600cc class to date. Yamanaka was 3rd in Race 2 with 28:46.474.
“In Race 1, the first few laps was tough because I found myself constantly challenged by Ahmad Fuad Baharudin. When he crashed on Lap 5, all I had to do was maintain my pace to take the chequered flag. Race 2 was a hard-earned victory for me. Ahmad Fuad and my team mate Masayuki Yamanaka was hot on my heels throughout the 18-lap race, but I managed to hold them off even though Ahmad Fuad tried several overtaking manoeuvers in the final lap. I’m very impressed by the drastic improvement in Ahmad Fuad’s results. He seems to be getting better and better with each race,” said Hamaguchi. The maximum 50 points from Round 1 puts Hamaguchi back on his accustomed spot at the top of the championship standings. Md Suhadi Ali Rahmat, who finished 2nd in Race 1 and 6th in Race 2 is now 2nd overall with 30 points. Indonesian Ahmad Jayadi is 3rd overall with 27 points.
“I learned from my mistake in Race 1 when I raced out of my limit and failed to control my bike. For Race 2, my strategy was to stick to Hamaguchi’s tail and wait for my chance to overtake in the final few corners. Even though that opportunity did not present itself, I am still happy with 2nd place,” said Fuad.
The Underbone 125cc class was dominated by team Shell Advance Harian Metro Maju. In Race 1, poleman K. Sivanesan got off to a bad start caused by an engine ‘overflow’. However, Siva quickly made up for lost ground and was back in the lead by Lap 2. Sivanesan held on to his lead and won Race 1 with a time of 14:54.001. Behind Siva, his team mate Ahmad Fazli Sham engaged SKF Enduro SCK Racing’s Norizman Ismail in an 8-lap battle for 2nd place. Fazli edged ahead of Norizman in the final sprint to the finish line to take 2nd place with a time of 15:00.046 while Norizman settled for 3rd with 15:00.140. In Race 2, the superiority of the team’s bikes were even more apparent. Team mates Sivanesan and Fazli, who both started the race from front row, swapped leads from start to finish and earned another 1-2 finish for their team. This time, Fazli pipped Sivanesan to the finish line with 14:49.303. Sivanesan was only 0.029 seconds behind with 14:49.332. Norizman Ismail was again 3rd with a time of 14:49.332.
“During Race 1, I faced some minor problems with my bike and therefore could not match Sivanesan’s pace. The problems were rectified by Race 2. This explains how I was able to set a faster pace and out-race my team mate,” said Fazli. The duo now jointly leads the Underbone 125cc category with 45 points apiece. Norizman Ismail, is currently 3rd overall with 32 points.
Meanwhile, 14-year-old Doni Tata Praditya scored a double victory in the Underbone 115cc class. Doni lived up to his billing as one of the most talented young riders from Indonesia. He was virtually unchallenged as he cruised to an easy finish in Race 1 with 14:34.283 and Race 2 with 14:40.295. Doni was not the only consistent rider in the Underbone 115cc class. Denden Dermawan overcame the handicap of starting from the back of the grid and took 2nd place in both Race 1 and Race 2 with 14:46.778 and 14:48.449. 3rd place in Race 1 went to Agus Setiawan with 14:47.248 while Wahyu Widodo took 3rd place in Race 2 with 14:48.528.
“This has been a perfect outing for me. I set the fastest times in all the practice sessions and achieved my objectives by scoring my first double victory in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship. I have a more competitive machine this year, hence the drastic improvements in my race results,” said the 14-year-old from Jogjakarta. Doni and Denden are now 10 points apart at the top of the Underbone 115cc leader board. Doni tops the standings with the maximum 50 points while Denden picked up 40 points and is now 2nd overall.
The opening round of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship which was held at Sentul International Circuit this weekend faced a minor hiccup when custom clearance for the inbound motorcycles was delayed. Therefore, the race organizers had to cancel the first Qualifying Practice which was scheduled for Friday.
Even though, there is no Qualifying Practice today, riders participating in the SuperSports 600cc, Underbone 125cc and Underbone 115cc categories made the most out of the 1st Official Practice to find the best set-up for the 3.965 km track which features 11 challenging corners.
In the Supersports 600cc, local rider Ahmad Jayadi made the most of his homeground advantage and posted the fastest lap time at the Sentul International Circuit with 01:37.709s. While, Malaysian ace, Ahmad Fuad Baharudin of Team Yamaha Racing Malaysia clocked the 2nd fastest time (01:38.332) and Ahmad Zamani Baharudin who represents Team PETRONAS Sprinta Racing was 3rd fastest with 01:38.499.
“This is the first time I find myself as pace-setter in the SuperSports 600cc. Last season was my debut in the SuperSports 600cc and having gained a years’ worth of experience in this class, I am now ready to improve on my rankings. However, I am certain that the rest of the grid, especially the Malaysian contingent will be working hard to improve their laptimes for both Qualifying Practice sessions tomorrow,” said Ahmad Jayadi who finished 11th overall last year.
“Strategically, for this practice session at least, I have an advantage because our team had ample time to find the perfect settings for this race. The foreign teams, on the other hand, had to scramble at the last minute due to the delay in the bike clearance. I’ve heard that many of the teams are planning to work around the clock to perfect their bike set-ups. Qualifying practice will certainly be very challenging,” he concluded.
Defending champion, Toshiyuki Hamaguchi and team mate Masayuki Yamanaka could not practice today as the shipment of their motorcycles was delayed at the custom. However, they will be given a separate official practice on Saturday.
As for the Underbone 125cc category, Malaysian rider K. Sivanesan of Team Shell Advance Harian Metro Maju Motor who was the 2004 champion of the PETRONAS Sprinta AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship clocked the fastest lap time of the day 01:54.679s. Meanwhile, Erwan Elias of Yamaha Racing Malaysia and Norizman Ismail who is representing Team SKF Enduro SCK Racing managed to clocked 2nd and 3rd fastest lap time with 01:54.932s and 01:55.091 respectively.
I am absolutely satisfied with today’s performance as I managed to clock the fastest time here. I am glad to beat Norizman’s fastest lap time (01:55.500) which he did it here last year during the Friday Official Practice. However, I am not overjoyed as it is only a practice session. Tomorrow performance during the Qualifying Practice will be important and my target is to fight for pole position, said Sivanesan.
In the 4-Stroke Underbone 115cc class, youngest rider Doni Tata Pradita who is only 14-year old proved that age is not a barrier for him to compete at the Asia level as he clocked the fastest lap time with 02:02.918s during the Official Practice. 2nd fastest is Arya Dwi Mahendra with 02:07.517 while M. Nurgianto is 3rd as he only managed to clock 02:08.207.
“My target now is to top the Qualifying Practice results chart tomorrow and earn my position on the front grid. From there, I hope to win both Race 1 and Race 2 which will give me a comfortable lead in the Underbone 115cc championship standings. The ultimate goal this season, is to challenge M. Fadli’s domination of the Underbone 115cc class this season,” said Doni.