Spill derails Buncio’s Asia Road Racing stint
Marc Anthony Reyes
First Posted 10:03:39 02/05/2011
Filed Under: Racing, 2011 Asia Road Racing Championships, Maico Buncio, John Lery Enriquez
KUALA LUMPUR—Maico Greg Buncio suffered a spill in the 16th lap, while John Lery Enriquez sputtered from the outset yesterday in a bumpy Team Suzuki Pilipinas debut in the 2011 Asia Road Racing Championships at the Sepang International Circuit here.
Buncio, the 22-year-old four-time national champ, was running 12th in the 23-man Supersport 600cc field in Race 1 when Ahmad Nashrul Baharudin of Malaysia hit his rear wheel coming from the outside at the treacherous wing-tip turn of the bird-shaped course.
The impact sent Buncio rolling three times before landing flat on his face. While the Filipino emerged unhurt, he failed to finish the race, where he posted his best lap time of 1 minute 08.449 seconds in the fourth. “I saw him coming and failed to brake,” said Buncio of Baharudin. “I am very disappointed, but hopefully I can recover.” More spills ensued, including one that knocked out top contender Chalermpol Polamai of Thailand in the 20th lap, forcing officials to abruptly end the race with five laps of the scheduled 25 remaining. Japanese Katsuaki Fujiwara bagged pole position with a combinaed time of 22 minutes and 28.203 seconds from Race 1 and 2. His best lap of 1:06.779 was slower, though, than the record lap clip of 1:06.538 he himself clocked during Saturday’s practice round. Chalermpol was second while, Malaysia’s Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman wound up third. Buncio, riding a bike adorned with the Philippine flag on its cowling, started 16th in the field of 23 riders and moved up to 13th overall after three laps. “I know that I can do better here, I just have to get the right breaks,” said Buncio, who like Enriquez, are the only first-timers here. Enriquez was left far behind at the get-go in the Underbone 115cc category and stayed there the rest of the way to end up 19th overall. The 27-year-old former Philippine national champion completed 14 laps in 20:09.346 He registered his best lap of 1:31.306 around the SIC that used only half of its 5.45-kilometer total distance for the race, largely considered as the Asian Moto Grand Prix. Sixteen-year-old Indonesian Rafid Topan topped the race with a total time of 20:06.317. He had his best lap in 1:24.727 in the 10th. Hometown entry Shahril Izzuwan Md Noor took second place, while defending champion Hadi Wijaya of Indonesia was third.
This is the first time Filipinos are vying in all six stages of the regional circuit, which will stage its second leg in Sentul, Malaysia, in June.