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SPORTS


ARKIB : 28/03/2000

New Categories For FIM Asia Road Racing

KUALA LUMPUR March 27 - Two new categories - 600cc SuperSport and Grand Prix 125cc (GP125) - will be introduced in this season's FIM Asia Road Racing Championship beginning in May.

Race promoters Two Wheels Motor Racing Sdn Bhd said the move to introduce the two new categories, which would replace the previous 250cc Sports Production and the 150cc Sports Production, was prompted by efforts to use machines that were closer to world-recognised classes.

"We believe that our Asian riders are now ready for new challenges. As always, the objective of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship is to develop and groom potential Asian champions," said Two Wheels promotions manager Ron Hogg.

"The introduction of these two classes is a part of our long-term strategy to prepare Asian riders for the ultimate challenge, that is the World Motorcycle Grand Prix," he said in a statement here today.

Hogg said however the two underbone classes, the 125cc Underbone and the 110cc Underbone, would be retained because both classes provided good training for novice riders before they moved on to bigger bikes.

He said they received positive feedback from the teams and federations and to date, a total of 30 riders have been confirmed for both the 600cc Supersport and the GP125 classes.

Among the teams who have confirmed their participation in the 600cc Supersport category are the Suzuki Racing Team, Hong Leong Yamaha, Petronas Sprinta Team TVK, Mack 3 Racing Team, Team Raceline Suzuki, Mezzo Racing Team and Colin Marshall Racing Team, added Hogg.

"Team AP Honda, Siam Yamaha and Petronas Sprinta Team TVK have also confirmed their participations in the GP125 class. We expect the GP125 class to be made up of mostly factory teams with more entries expected to come from Korea, China and Indonesia," he said.

The teams participating in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship applauded the move.

"This is a very timely move by the race promoters. In one stroke, they have improved on the quality of the championship, made it more relevant and exciting and at the same time, they have retained the affordability of the championship," said Petronas Sprinta Team TVK's Sunny Hew.

Team Suzuki Racing manager Chan Wing Kit said this season's FIM Asia Road Racing Championship would be a whole new ballgame with the introduction of the new categories and no one looked as the early favourites yet.

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