I don't know for sure, but I think for a lot of the guys it was a kind of anticlimactic last weekend of the series.
Friday was the usual practice session for the racers. The track was dry and people were getting on the pace very fast. I on the other hand, was having my race fairing refitted to the bike after my crash in the rain during the AsiaPac round. The glass fiber was basically crushed and Ah Hoi used more than a month to repair it. The result is now that the fairing is more glass fiber resin than glass fiber. Anyway, for me the 3hr practice session on Friday ended up as a 1hr session only. The reason being that Ah Hoi sent BBQ's bike to the track instead of mine. We all know where BBQ spent last week, so I was mildly displeased...
Anyway, as this weekend had 2 rounds crammed into it, Saturday was more busy then usual. I realized that a lot of guys had been doing a lot of practicing for this weekend, because the times in the Supersport class had come down even further since the last round. The 2 round 1 weekend format meant that on Saturday we had 1 qualifying session for each of the 2 races on Sunday. Before qualifying I changed to new tires. Since I hadn't been getting as much practicing during Friday as the others I used the qualifying as a bit of a practice session. In total, I did something like 20 laps. I thought I was doing OK with some high 1.12's, but ended up 8th on the grid for race 1, and 6th for race 2. Not too pleased, but then again the International Supersport class was occupying 2 or 3 of the first spots.
Come Sunday it was overcast, and as we came to the track it started raining. It was nothing severe, but a steady rain fall. It didn't really raise my confidence, as I had my biggest crash ever just 2 months ago in the rain. For me the strategy for race 1 was basically to keep it upright. I managed that and must say that the Pirelli's performed a shitload better than the Dunlops.
The race itself was basically not very eventful except for a lot of people being lapped. I saw several people having some huge moments, but surprisingly nobody crashed. I thanked myself for having changed tires before the qualifying and therefore having them scrubbed in for the race. The rain cooled down things a lot, and the 25 laps became very bearable. As the race progressed, my 2nd goal became to keep Boycie behind as he was closing in towards the end. He apparently had a couple of moments as he was catching up and basically had to let me go on the last couple of laps. I ended up 5th in Supersport Open, class and was ok with the result considering the conditions.
Come race 2, the rain had stopped and the sun came out for a bit and dried the track except a few damp patches. However, except for a small wet area coming out of the last corner, the track gave plenty of grip. As that is the slowest part of the track it didn't slow people down much. It was at the exit of the corner, but you basically have the bike upright at that point so all it caused was a small twitch of the back end. Only problem for me was that during the wet race 1, I'd turned my steering dampener off and forgot to re-tighten it for race 2. This caused some wicked action from the front end on the power. It was controllable but tiring as the race went on. Anyway, I had a reasonably good start and was aiming to make use of the dry conditions. So did most of the others apparently. After some swapping of places over the first couple of laps things stabilized and we were about 6 bikes stringed out in the leading group. Siew Charn Ho the eventual winner of the class had a not so good start and pulled in one competitor after the other. I was up to 2nd place for a short time in the race, but then he came through to challenge the lead. He and the leader Armand Ali started chasing each other and pushed the lap times even further down (into the very high 1.10's). I managed a 1.11:9 only (new record for me) so had to let them go. This was about half distance, and as the leaders were clearing away my only concern was to keep the remaining competition behind me. One of which unbeknownst to me had a huge high side coming out of turn 3 (fast 4th gear downhill right hander) right behind me. Towards the end of the race Boycie became a factor again, as I lapped him with about 1 or 2 laps remaining of the race. Must say I was mighty pleased with that (you have to tuck in down the straight Boycie!!!). I kept my 3rd place with a 0.244sec gap to 4th placed Steve Ewan. Close, but good enough for me.
I started the weekend in 3rd place overall and ended in 4th place over all as Siew Charn Ho won both races and moved to take my spot. Interesting for me, is that I hear the 3 first positions of Supersport Open championship will be moved to the International Supersport class next year. Anyway, let's see...
The 2 SBK races were held after each of the Supersport races respectively. The rain ended towards the beginning of the 1st race, but the track remained damp for the duration of the race. A couple of the guys not in it for the championship chose not to start and 1-4 the road pitted after 2 laps. Poul Erik won the race with a 7sec margin over Panjang (Lee Ching Hooi).
The second SBK race began in dry conditions, and Yellow Peril was making very good use of it and keeping up with Slasher at the beginning. However, around lap 3-5 it started raining at one end of the track and people started crashing. Rod Scott had a big off through turn 5 (3rd or 4th gear left hand sweeper). The rain very soon poured over the whole track, and developed into a torrential rainfall. The race should have been stopped around lap 8, but was kept going by the stewards until lap 11. Racers started pitting around lap 6 because of the conditions. Basically they couldn't see more then 20m in front of themselves because of the spray.
Before the last race, Poul Erik was only 5 points behind Panjang for the championship. He stood a chance to equal Panjang on points if he also won the last race. That didn't happen as he crashed his R1 three times in the final two laps whilst chasing for the lead. He ended 6th place for the race. Even if he had won the shortened race, the stewards only awarded half points as the race didn't complete 75% distance. So Panjang took the championship, Poul Erik ended in second and Slasher third.
For more on this go HERE
FOR RESULTS GO HERE