It had been more than 18 months since he last raced on a 1000cc bike yet Farid Badrul made an amazing comeback as Round 1 of the 2019 Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship came to a close at the Sepang International Circuit.

Pitting his 2012 BMW against that of Zulfahmi Khairuddin’s later 2015 version, controlling his bike through sheer will and brute force without the aid of traction controls and electronics, Farid still walked away as the biggest winner of the weekend with two wins under his belt.

The Horizon Racing Team rider sounded the warning knell in Race 1 on Saturday when he defeated series favourite Zulfahmi Khairuddin. Farid almost crashed out of Race 2, which gave Zulfahmi the opening he needed to take control of the second race.

Race 3 was red flagged on Lap 5 following an incident between Khoo Chee Yen and Daniel Haiqal. Both riders are reported to be in good condition after the crash. The race was then re-started with four laps on the boards. However, CY Khoo was unable to join the re-start though he was fit to do so. The marshalls had mistakenly asked him to ride his bike back to the pits via the service road, denying him the opportunity to join the re-started race. Under the regulations, the riders must ride back via the track on their bike, and be classified as a finisher, in order to re-start.

Zulfahmi dominated the majority of the re-started race and was caught unawares on the last lap when Farid Badrul surprised him with an overtaking move.

“It was a do-or-die moment for me,” said Farid. “There was only a few corners left and if I had not made my move, I would have had to settle for second place. I’m very happy that my decision to be more aggressive paid off.”

Farid chalked up his second win of the weekend by clocking 8’42.665s in the four lap re-started race. Fahmi claimed the second spot with 8’42.715s. ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team’s Amirul Hafiq Azmi picked up his third consecutive third-place finish.

Meanwhile, in the MSBK600 class, SIC Junior ZK Racing Team’s rookie rider Izam Ikmal Izmali managed a spectacular 600cc debut when he went from third in Race 1 to second in Race 2 and then first in Race 3.

However, Azroy Hakeem Anuar leads the MSBK600 class after Round 1 with two wins and a second place finish to his advantage.

ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team’s Nazirul Izzat Bahaudin raced in a league of his own in the MSBK250. Nazirul put in an imperious performance when he won Race 1 with 20’29.198s and 20’23.706s.

Round 2 of the 2019 Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship will resume, at the Sepang International Circuit, on July 26 to 28, 2019.