Suzuki Phoenix riders brace for tough grind

The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 17 2014 03:57 PM | Updated as of Aug 17 2014 11:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Suzuki Phoenix YRS Racing team is preparing for its biggest battle as the final race of the 2014 National Road Racing Championship erupts today at the Ynares Sports Complex in Antipolo.

A battle royale is expected in the Open 4 Stroke Underbone Class as only 14 points separate second-running rider no. 321 James Mendez, riding a Suzuki Smash 115, with 63 points and Arlan Dela Cruz, ahead with 77 points.

In the 160 Automatic Expert Class, Suzuki Phoenix YRS riders Mendez (70 points at second), Enzo Rellosa (53 points at third) and Team Captain MJ Altamira (52 points, fourth) are all expected to go all out to dethrone leader Victor Laude (92 points).

The team, backed by Suzuki Philippines, Phoenix Petroleum, YRS Motorcycle Inc., Spyder Helmets, RK Chains, Vee Rubber, Holex Tools, Imarflex and Imola Racing, has been most dominant in the prestigious MBF Cup 115 Sports Production, with their riders expected to occupy the top four slots.

They are led by rider no. 24 Rellosa (95 points), who is expected to battle it out with teammates Mendez (81 points), Altamira (48 points) and Eljin Lobarbio (33 points). If Suzuki pulls off a 1-2-3-4 finish here, it will match the feat of the Suzuki Blue Bandits, led by the late Maico Buncio, in 2010.

JC Rellosa, meanwhile, leads the points’ standing in three categories – the Super Stock 115, Suzuki Raider J-Fi Cup and Automatic 160 Class C category. He can nail a possible fourth overall title in the Suzuki Nex 115 One-Make Race as he trails the leader Van Ruedas by just seven points and is a point behind second placer EJ Sobretodo.

Sunday’s winners will get a chance to join the Asia Cup of Road Race Championships in Thailand and Taiwan.

“In behalf of Phoenix Lubricants, we would like to commend the team’s effort to win races. With their skills, confidence and mentors who guide them to be victorious, they will continuously represent us all at Thailand and Taiwan,” said Dessi Maala of Phoenix Petroleum.