After winning the 2017 SUZUKI ASIAN CHALLENGE Championship on Saturday at his home round at Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand, Punchana Kulrojchalalai raced his Suzuki GSX-R150 to victory in Sunday’s final race of the season.
The race started in similar spectacular fashion to Saturday’s, with the top championship contenders leading the field again with #27 Nur Al Fath Sam Ahmad (Indonesia) and #76 Chepy Armansyah (Indonesia) in the leading pack. The whole field ran closely together and was expected to do the same until the final lap. However, six riders ran away from the second group and battled until the finish line for the win. #16 April King Mascardo (Philippines) pulled away from the second group and ran his personal best laps to catch-up with the leaders; and with two laps to go caught up, making it a seven-way battle to the finish line.
#17 Tetsuya Fujita (Japan) cleared the final corner of the final lap, but it was #78 Kulrojchalalai that crossed the finish line just ahead, celebrating the highly competitive and popular Suzuki single Platform series with victory.
#78 Punchana Kulrojchalalai - Race 2 Winner:
"I made a mistake yesterday by changing my sprocket setting, so I changed it back. I concentrated on the final corner of the final lap and I was able to go in to that corner in third and was able to finish on top. I have never raced in a single platform race before and SUZUKI ASIAN CHALLENGE was a great learning experience for me. I have started to race in a 250cc series this year in Thailand and my next aim is to become a Champion on a 250cc bike."
Yukio Kagayama - SAC General Manager:
"The riders showed us what they have been learning throughout the season, and ran an exciting but a clean race. Punchana raced like a Champion and the other riders challenged the Champion well. It was a good race to finish the season. I would like to thank ARRC, Dunlop and all our sponsors for supporting us throughout our third season. I would also like to thank the riders, the mechanics, the operation staff and our fans for a wonderful season!"
Shunji Yatsushiro - SAC Rider Coach:
"The final race was clean race with all the riders being fair and showing us the sportsmanship we have been teaching them for the whole year. The riders this year were very talented and there were not many things to teach them. The race times have improved significantly today compared with the previous races here and proved to us that they have putting what they learned into good use. I also felt that the riders, the mechanics and the staff have been communicating well this year and I believe that the SAC program itself has improved as well."