Motorsports: Yamaha PH assembles Asia road race team with youth in mind

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 16 2018 03:29 AM | Updated as of Sep 19 2018 07:10 AM

Yamaha Motor Philippines Inc. recently introduced its 12-man 2018 Yamaha GP riders, who will be groomed for the 2019 Asia Road Racing Championships. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Yamaha Motor Philippines Inc. introduced its 12-member 2018 Yamaha GP riders who will be groomed for the 2019 Asia Road Racing Championships (ARRC).

The team, selected through online voting, is composed of some of the best young riders from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Leading Team Luzon is multi-awarded racer McKinley Kyle Paz, Herbert Lopez and John Emerson Inguinto, while Jaycob Cabahug, Garry Caneda Jr., and Simon Solon make up Team Visayas.

Former "Pilipinas Got Talent" contestant Bornok Mangosong spearheads Team Mindanao, together with Marzan Resada and Eljay Sumgangil.

Rounding out the Yamaha squad is underbone racing veteran Masato Fernandez, Nino Fabian and Gian Carlo Mauricio.

The riders were presented to local motorcycle enthusiasts during the visit of Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Mavarick Vinales on 10th Avenue, Caloocan City.

“The winners will be our representative hopefully in the 2019 season of the ARRC. Let's hope that from these riders comes our future MotoGP rider from the Philippines,” said Jordan Cornista, Yamaha Motorsports and Safety Promotion head.

“These are the 12 best riders in the Philippines. At dahil online voting, expected na sila ang pinaka-popular young riders in the whole of the Philippines.”

Nine of the 12 riders were chosen via online voting out of 44 candidates that were presented via Yamaha Philippines’ Facebook page, said Jonathan Refugio, also of Yamaha Motorsports and Safety Promotion.

The online poll ran from December 22 to January 5. 

Refugio said organizers decided to add wild-card riders to beef up the roster and please local race fans.

He believes the lineup is quite formidable given the credentials of the selected riders.

“Like Kype Paz, nakakalaban na po 'yan sa international races so mataas na kalibre ng rider 'yan . . . si John Emerson (Inguinto) nanalo naman ng fourth place sa ASEAN Cup Race," said Refugio. 

“Si Masato Fernando parang Valentino Rossi ng Pilipinas, marami na ring experience sa international races.”

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)