Team Hi-Rev SCK Honda Racing’s Mohd Helmi Azman looked to be peerless at the Sepang Circuit as he picked up his third win of the season at Round 5 of the 2020 PETRONAS Malaysian Cub Prix Championship held at the 2.7km Sepang North Track.
Adverse weather earlier in the morning forced the cancellation of the CP150 Super Pole. Instead, it was replaced by a ShootOut qualifier where the top-10 riders went out en-masse for a final fight for grid positions. The pole position eventually went to Mohd Akid Aziz (PETRONAS Sprinta Yamaha-Maju Motor). Championship leader Azroy Hakeem Anuar snared a front-row start with P2 while Helmi was slated to start the race from second row when he qualified sixth on the grid.
Unfazed, Helmi spent the bulk of the 11-lap race tucked into the leading group while up at the front, Mohd Aiman Tahiruddin, Mohd Haziq Mohd Fairues, Affendi Rosli, Azroy Hakeem Anuar, Akid Aziz and Ahmad Fazli Sham took turns to lead the 24-rider grid.
Helmi eventually made his move on Lap 10, gaining four spots to take the helm as the CP150 riders stormed into the final lap. Helmi displayed a strategic final lap where he smartly held off simultaneous attacks from Ahmad Afif Amran and Azroy Hakeem Anuar to stop the clock at 14’38.112s, only 0.008 seconds ahead of second placed Afif.
“This was the team’s strategy all along. It is impossible for a single rider to break away from the chasing pack on a track as wide and long as the Sepang Circuit. I planned to wait until the final lap before I made my attack. A little risky, but I was confident I could pull it off,” said Helmi.
Championship leader Azroy Hakeem Anuar crossed the finish line half a second behind Helmi in third place. This would be the Idemitsu Honda Yuzy Racing rider’s fifth consecutive podium finish this season. However, Azroy’s lead in the CP150 title chase is now under threat. Still at the top of the ladder with 97 points, Azroy is only six points ahead of Helmi. With all the remaining rounds of the 2020 PETRONAS Malaysian Cub Prix Championship scheduled to be held at the Sepang Circuit where Helmi holds an inexplicable advantage, the championship lead could possibly change hands by Round 6.