The Suzuki Philippine Challenge Finals is an event hosted by Suzuki Philippines featuring the main category with the same event title which serves as the qualifier to determine the country’s delegates to the Suzuki Asian Challenge (SAC) season this 2016. This is in support of the brand’s developmental program to hone future MotoGP champions headed by SAC General Manager Yukio Kagayama. The program commenced in 2015 with 17 riders from 9 Asian countries alongside the brand’s big comeback on the racetrack.
The Suzuki Asian Challenge
Following the Japanese giant’s commitment to develop future MotoGP racers, and eventually champions; Suzuki searches for new batch of Asian riders to join its class of 2016 who will participate at the Suzuki Asian Challenge (SAC). The SAC runs in conjunction with the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) featuring a single-make race on a Suzuki Raider R150. The SAC will form the base of a structured programme that will eventually spearhead Suzuki’s efforts to groom riders from the Asian region. The collaboration with the ARRC is the result of Suzuki’s intention to also train up more Asian talents who may one day race for Suzuki in the MotoGP. Representatives from Asian nations will compete with each other to find out who will reign in this exciting event. This year, three delegates will join the class from the Philippines forming part of Team Suzuki Pilipinas.
The Suzuki Philippine Challenge Finals – SAC Qualifier
April King Mascardo, the country’s frontrunner to SAC 2015 automatically got the first slot.
Suzuki Philippines is searching for two more riders to complete Team Suzuki Pilipinas. One rider each from Luzon and VisMin will join him in this developmental journey. Fourteen qualifiers (Top 6 from Luzon and Top 8 from Vismin) competed for these slots at the Suzuki Philippine Challenge Finals. These 14 riders are the top performers of the Suzuki Philippine Challenge – an R150 one make race category of the Repsol Road Racing Championship (Luzon) and the Regional Underbone Grand Prix (RUGP) (VisMin).
|CRUZ, GERALD||ERNIE DAGUIO, JR.|
|SOBRETODO, EANE JAY||EPHRAIM ONAHON|
|MAURICIO, GIAN CARLO||RHOWELL MANGOSONG|
|PAZ, MCKINLEY KYLE||MARIO BORBON, JR.|
|LOPEZ, HERBERT||JOVEN MILLANA|
|LAPING, JOHN||ROMER CORBE|
|MACDO DAVE SANDE|
|CHRISS KARLOU SAMOGA|
|McKinley Kyle Paz||Mario Borbon, Jr|
|Eane Jaye Sobretodo||Romer Corbe|
|Herbert Lopez||Ernie Daguio Jr.|
Top contenders of the Suzuki Philippine Challenge Finals of Luzon and VisMin automatically qualified for a slot at the Suzuki Asian Challenge. The slot for Luzon, however was given to the succeeding finisher Eane Jaye Sobretodo due to McKinley Kyle Paz’ prior commitment with a local racing group. Eane Jaye Sobretodo will join returning SAC player Mario Borbon and April King Mascardo at SAC races this year.
In addition to the SAC qualifier, the event also staged 5 race categories open to interested riders:
Open to all riders
- Raider J 115 Fi One Make Race
Winners – Eane Jaye Sobretodo, McKinley Kyle Paz, Gian Carlo Mauricio
Open to all Suzuki models
- 110-115cc Underbone Category
Winners – Carlo Calderon, Mark Ondillo, Dennis De Los Reyes
- 150cc Underbone Category
Winners – Jhoas de Guzman, Jess Dominguez, Mark Rudolf Casanova
- 110-125cc Scooter Category
Winners – Jeffrey Mendoza, Sherwin Terrado, Jems Cabusao
- Club Races
Winners – Jhoas De Guzman, Sunny Gundayo, Jess Dominguez
- PSRC Club Race
Winners – Jhoas De Guzman, Jess Dominguez, Aries De Leon
About the Raider R150
Powered by Suzuki’s reliable 150cc double overhead camshaft (DOHC), 4-valve, 6-speed transmission engine, the Raider R150 has already captured the hearts of the Filipinos. The R150’s slim body holds very well its highly powerful engine giving a very light yet authoritative ride. All packaged in a very distinct appearance, the Raider R150 is always the choice of all riders who want to step up from their scooter and 100cc underbone bikes.
The Raider’s dominance can be traced back in 2002 when its brother – the Raider R125 was launched. Two years later, the Raider R150 was born and it forever changed the course of the competition in the Underbone category. After more than 13 years, the Raider bikes have made their mark in the motorcycle community. Considered as the breed that leads backed up by its promising sales of more than 130,000 units since its introduction, the Raider breed has also formed communities of riders and enthusiasts sharing the same passion for riding and the bike.
Earlier this year, Suzuki launched the Raider R150 Reloaded. The new look of the reigning Underbone King is reloaded with features fit to the kings of the road – unique wavy disc brakes, tubeless tyres and key shutter.
Team Suzuki Pilipinas at the SAC 2015
Team Suzuki Pilipinas did a promising performance during the first season of the Suzuki Asian Challenge. Comprising of Luzon’s Enzo Rellosa, Visayas’ Mario Borbon and Mindanao’s April King Mascardo; the team took home one podium finish and impressive times during SAC 2015. Mascardo took home a third place trophy during the third round of SAC held at the Suzuki International Circuit which is considered as one of the most difficult racetracks in the world.
Despite having very limited training in circuit racing because these boys are used to shorter and track-converted-parking lots, their time improved hugely. At the end of the season, Mascardo finished at 7th place with Borbon and Rellosa securing the 12th and 13th places respectively.