UMA Racing Yamaha Philippines team had an incredible start to the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) season by topping both races in the Malaysian leg. After being named Champions, McKinley Kyle Paz and Masato Fernando were marked men since they set foot in the country of Thailand.
Moving on the second leg of the competition, the Filipino Duo remained undaunted even they experienced a flurry of trials in race one. Entering race 2, they prepared for the relentless fury of their rivals. The second round was set in Chang International Circuit in Buriram Thailand.
Before the start of the race, Masato felt that he had a technical issue with his motorcycle. They tried to address the problem on the grid, but there was not enough time. The competition was heated from the start which caused an unfortunate crash that resulted in a red flag. As the fallen riders gathered their bearings, it was an opportunity for team Philippines to adjust their motorcycles. Due to the crash, the laps were now reduced to 6, a virtual sprint to the finish line.
McKinley started the race at the 5th spot and Masato at the back of the pack anew. But with a nation behind them, they were able to reach the front by the last two laps. For a moment, Championship leader Kyle Paz led the way with Masato closing in on the rest of the leaders. However, in the final corner, Masato was part of a multi-rider crash that took away any chance at the podium. McKinley, on the other hand couldn’t maintain the lead as he was smothered by his foreign counterparts.
Overall, it was a tough round for them, but both have vowed to claim the victory when they return in the final leg. For now, they shift their focus in Japan as Paz continues to defend his championship spot and Fernando seeks to improve from 5th place in the standings.
Will the Philippine flag be raised anew? We’ll find out soon.