SuperSports 600cc Mohd Zamri Baba gained a significant amount of confidence ahead of Round 5 of the PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship final races this weekend thanks to a strong run in the qualifying session which saw him qualify second row at the Autopolis International Race Course, Japan today.

Yesteday, the PETRONAS Hong Leong Yamaha rider ended the practice session badly with a crash having struggled to find a strong setup with his Yamaha YZF-R6, the same issue he faced at the Suzuka Circuit (Round 4) last weekend that effectively ended his podium streak.

Despite being diagnosed with a mild concussion, Zamri was cleared for action and he went out for the qualifying session with an inferior machine.

Much to everyone’s surprise, the team rectified the setup issues just in time before the 40-minute qualifying session was red-flagged due to an oil-spill with 10 minutes left on the clock.

The 30-year old Zamri timed his best lap at 1’54.463s to qualify fifth on the grid and will start tomorrow’s SuperSports 600cc race alongside teammate, Yuki Ito (1’54.326s) fourth and Tomoyoshi Koyama (1’54.708s) sixth.

Occupying the front row was Autopolis favourite, Katsuaki Fujiwara. He earned pole by breaking his own lap record (1’54.413s) and replaced it with a new time of 1’53.584s.

Other SuperSports 600cc riders who broke the 1 minute 54 second mark includes Suzuka double winner, Shinichi Nakatomi second with 1’53.711s and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman third, 1’53.880s.

Underbone 115cc Meanwhile Ahmad Afif Amran showed marked improvement in the Underbone 115cc class.

The PETRONAS Hong Leong Yamaha rider who clocked 1’32.344s in the opening practices yesterday shaved off almost two seconds in the qualifying to record an impressive 1’30.952s.

He will start the race from third row alongside Japan’s Kazuki Masaki and Indonesian, Harlan Fadhillah while defending Champion, Hadi Wijaya, Norizman Ismail and Ferlando Herdian locks out the front row.

Outdo Koyoko Motul Yamaha YY Pang’s Tengku Amirul Haffiruddin will start from 11th having clocked his best lap at 1’31.292s while Adib Rosley takes off from 13th with 1’31.372s.

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