Ahead of the 2020 Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) season for the Asia Production 250 class (AP250), new entry to the grid Team Idemitsu Boon Siew Honda Racing (IBSH) will be ‘testing the waters’ with a wildcard entry this weekend’s round in Sepang International Circuit (SIC). As the sixth leg of the ARRC AP250 season, this round at SIC was deemed to be an ideal time for IBSH to use homeground to its advantage and scope out the competition.
Young Malaysian riders Muhammad Syarifuddin Azman (18) from Selangor and Muhammad Idlan Haqimi Raduan (15) from Negeri Sembilan will be competing as wildcards on the Honda CBR250RR and managed by . The AP250 class, which made its debut in ARRC in 2015, is currently dominated by Thai and Indonesian riders.
Aware that the level of competition will be stiff, neither rider is underestimating the challenge they face. “I am both excited and nervous about this wildcard. The AP250 class is not an easy class to debut in. There are a lot of strong and aggressive riders on the grid,” said Syarifuddin.
Other rider on the Malaysian IBSH team, Idlan is also looking forward to the AP250 race with both riders having moved up the ranks in Honda’s racer development programme. In Syarifuddin’s case, he was twice crowned champion in the Malaysian Cup Prix in 2016 and 2018 while Idlan was 2018 champion in the Honda One Make Challenge race series.
Speaking during the launch, Keiichi Yasuda, managing director and CEO of Boon Siew Honda, said competing in AP250 with a new team fills a vacuum in Boon Siew Honda’s talent development programme in Malaysia. The new IBSH team slots into a talent development path for young Malaysian riders that includes the Petronas Malaysian Cub Prix, Thailand Talent Cup, European Talent Cup, Asian Talent Cup and FIM Asia Road Racing Championship.
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