Finland’s Journi Karhu defied his age and outclassed his younger opponents at the opening round of the Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSBK) when he cruised to victory to win Race 1 of the Superbike Championship at Sepang International Circuit today.
Starting from pole position, Karhu, who rides a Kawasaki ZX10R for Team Chia PJ Kawasaki, comfortably won the 24-lap battle around the 2,606-meter South Track in 25 minutes 39.243 seconds and 19.497 seconds ahead of his team-mate Rajini Krishan of India.
Rajini, champion for the category two seasons ago, completed the race in 25 minutes 58.740 seconds; also on a Kawasaki ZX10R machine. Britain’s Mark Kendle, who was also on the same machine completed the podium.
Commenting on his victory, Karhu said he was more relieved than happy to win the contest as he was not too keen on having to compete around the South Track, which was a first since the MSBK was introduced replacing the Malaysian Super Series bike competitions.
“Sincerely, I have very little experience of competing at the South Track. In fact, it was just one track day before this weekend. So, you would understand my concern. But, everything turns out well today and I hope to have the same good fortune for tomorrow’s Race 2. I am looking forward for Round 2 as the championship returns back to a full track. The race starts at Race 2, actually, for me,” Journi said.
Race 2 will be held today to decide winners of the opening round for this five-leg series.
Fans can catch the actions live for free from the Main Grandstand or exclusively with the paddock pass at RM85. Alternatively, fans can catch all the actions on-line via live streaming on SIC’s Facebook page and Youtube tomorrow from 12.50pm