Mascardo secures 3rd Overall in the ARRC UB150 in Thailand
Date posted on November 26, 2022
After winning the UB150 Race 1 a day before, April King Mascardo of UMA Racing MMR Yamaha Philippines was able to score a point in Race 2 on November 20 ahead of his nearest rival in the championship to secure 3rd position in the season points standings here at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand.
The day started well for Mascardo and the team when he set the fastest time during the morning warm-up, a full 2 seconds faster than Cardinal Malaysia Racing’s Ahmad Afif Amran, the rider he is fighting with for 3rd overall.
Meanwhile, teammate Gian Carlo Mauricio was 8th fastest and also ahead of Amran who was only 9th fastest. Mauricio is looking forward for another battle at the front to end his rookie ARCC season on a high.
The Thai weather changed a few hours after warm-up from clear and dry to cold and cloudy. It got worst as the 1:25 pm UB150 race start time approach. The crew prepared a set of Dunlop rain tires on stand-by just in case the rain came. It was a tensed situation at the garage.
However, without any rain drops in sight, the race was declared dry so it will be the teams’ individual decisions whether to use slick or full rain tire. Literally, a minute before the pitlane opened for the sighting lap it started to drizzle, but not heavy enough to go to full wets. So, the teams sent out the riders on slick tires for the sighting lap to try the track conditions.
As the riders arrived at their grid positions after a lap of the circuit in the rapidly changing conditions, it became a frantic scene. Most of the teams based on the riders’ feedback, decided to switch to full wets right on the grid, sending mechanics to a frenzy. Without any special power tools or quick release axles, the mechanics frantically swapped the slicks for full wets on both ends of their riders’ bikes!
The mechanics of both Mascardo and Maurico completed the swap with time to spare. However, after observing that some of the fast guys were gambling by remaining on slicks, hoping that the 8-lap race will finish before the diluge hit, UMA’s strategist decided to put Mascardo, who was 2nd on he grid, back to slick tires. The mechanics barely did the job on time before the 1-minute board came out.
At the start, there was still only a slight drizzle and Mascardo was able to stay in the lead pack and it looked like the gamble will pay off. Mascardo was hovering in 2nd and 5th positions. However, by the start of the 4th lap, the downpour eventually came.
Meanwhile although on rain tires, Mauricio’s bike, started to malfunction due to water affecting the engine. He would eventually enter the pit and retire before the end of the race with the problem traced to the spark plug. Another race for the young Mauricio spoiled by the weather after yesterday’s Race 1 retirement due to extreme heat conditions which caused his bike to overheat.
Mascardo slid almost to the very back of the pack but was still on two wheels despite the extremely wet conditions. Instead of the win, Mascardo focused on finishing ahead of Cardinals Racing’s Afif Amran, his rival for third overall in the final championship standings. As the laps winded down, Mascardo moved higher and closer to a point scoring position. He eventually finished 15th and in the point standings, more importantly ahead of Amran. This race netted him again a trophy during the season awarding later that night for 3rd overall.
Congratulations to everyone at UMA Racing MMR Yamaha Philippines team for a successful 2022 campaign and for giving many Filipinos excitement and hope.
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