Round 1 of the 2010 AMSC kicked off on 21st Feb. with the Philippines again claiming the honour of hosting the opening Round at their Puerto Princesa complex on the Island of Palawan. Both Championships were dominated by two riders who topped qualifying and won both Motos in their respective categories.
Arriving International Riders were welcomed to the friendly Philippines and assisted through formalities by Ministry of Tourism Staff, then transported to the official Manila Hotel for an overnight transit before a group domestic flight to Palawan on 18th Feb.
A lavish welcome dinner preceded race day and was personally hosted and presented by Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn. A remarkable man with an indelible memory and a passion for nature and justly proud of Puerto Princesa – his City in a Forest.
Three of the expected top performers arrived with tales of woe – Erdenbileg nursing a swollen knee sustained in a Thai race and Iran’s Sabetifar recovering from three fractured fingers forcing him off the bike for more than a month. India’s C.S. Santosh was greeted with the news that his own bike would not arrive in time and he rode a substitute bike on which the talented Indian never really looked comfortable.
Race day Sunday 21st was the same as the previous 3 – that is dry and hot. Organisers condensed the program where possible to maximise the effect of track watering, however despite their best endeavours, conditions were still not ideal.
Riders from six different Asian Countries made up the field for the two FIM Asia Championship categories, including Mongolia and Iran who both entered 3 Rider teams.
1:00PM. – 125cc Moto 1 – 1.2 Km undulating red loam circuit. Mandatory sighting lap, back to waiting zone then an orderly entry into the start gates all copybook under the control of CoC Arthur Valdez. On gate drop the packed bunch charged the uphill start straight, into the RH top berm, then down into the fast left-hander, then into the first of the jump sections.
Lap 1 leader 17yo Amir Sabetifar followed by 45yo Japanese Takeshi Tabuchi, Mongolian Temuujin Khadbaatar, Japanese Tomoya Suzuki and local hero Kenneth San Andres rounding out the top five. Further back Khaliunbold had a fall and a very sore Alireza Parvaresh who had an accident in qualifying was making heavy weather of it and eventually dropped out.
On lap 4, San Andres fell and Khaliunbold had battled through the field and was right behind Amir and the local crowd were on their feet as the two of them battled for another five laps before the tiring Iranian succumbed to the modern day Chinggis Khaan. Filipinos Veli Gin Ramos and Migi Tolentino had already been lapped – such was the pace of the front pack, but when the chequered flag came out for Khalunbold on his 16th lap that was the finish of the 20min +2 lap Moto.
1st Khaliunbold Erdenbileg – Mongolia – Yamaha
2nd Amir Reza Sabetifar – Iran – Honda
3rd Tomoya Suzuki – Japan – Yamaha
3:30PM – 125cc Moto 2
Amir grabbed the hole shot but it was Tabuchi who held the lead for the first 3 laps until overtaken by the hard charging Khaliunbold. Fellow Mongolian Temuujin laid his Kawasaki down right in front of the service area while Amir was languishing and obviously suffering from lack of Bike time. Tomoya was creeping through the field but it took five laps to get past his older Countryman Tabuchi. The youngest in the field 15yo Filipino Migi Tolentino was lapped on 7th as Khaliunbold set a blistering pace up front.
From lap 11 until the finish, the first 5 places remained constant as Khaliunbold, Tomoya, Amir, Tabuchi and Kenneth San Andres. The winner was Khaliunbold – the hero was Tabuchi. Certainly a brilliant effort for the Japanese veteran although 45yo Filipino Jolet Jao also put in a sterling effort to achieve 9th place.
1st Khaliunbold Erdenbileg – Mongolia – Yamaha
2nd Tomoya Suzuki – Japan – Yamaha
3rd Amir Reza Sabetifar – Iran – Honda
Both Motos of the 85cc Junior Championship were dominated by Filipino Jerrick Mitra with Guam’s Jacob Einloth second, but third place was shared by the Guinto Brothers Ernest and Ariel with the third place count back going to the younger Ariel after his brother crashed twice and was obviously finding the 15min +2 laps heavy going.
Top 3 in Junior 85cc Championship after Round 1
1st Jerrick Mitra 14yo – 50 pts – Philippines – Honda
2nd Jacob Einloth 14yo – 44 pts – Guam – Yamaha
3rd Ariel Guinto 13yo – 38 pts – Philippines – Kawasaki
Top 3 in Senior 125cc Championship after Round 1
1st Khaliunbold Erdenbileg – 50 pts – Mongolia – Honda
2nd Tomoya Suzuki – 42 pts – Japan – Yamaha
3rd Amir Reza Sabetifar – 42 pts – Iran – Honda