Alfonsi Rei Santos Daquigan recently proved that racing genes run in his family’s blood.
Son of newly crowned 2018 Pirelli Cup Lightweight A champion Dannie Daquigan and nephew of vintage car racing champion Dexter Daquigan, Alfonsi won the Daijiro Super Minibike Cup East Japan Championship at the Circuit Akigase in Saitama, Japan recently.
In a dominant show, the nine-year-old Alfonsi ruled Saturday’s dry practice race, the Sunday wet race session, the qualifying time attack all the way to the final race to top the Intermediate Class of the Daijiro Cup, site of his first international triumph in the novice class two years ago.
“This is my most memorable race since it’s my first time to win in the intermediate class. Last year, I just placed second and third only, and the year prior, I won the novice crown,” said Alfonsi, a student of Golden Values School of Novaliches.
The final race was his most dominant show as Alfonsi was able to holeshot the first turn to grab a huge lead, which he further padded until claiming the chequered flag. Kawai Ryunosuke placed second, while his fellow Japanese Tamura Soichi was third. Completing the top six are Fukawa Koutaro, Yanki Yanki and Kamitori Fugo.
“It’s hard to win races here in Japan, since the competition here is very high. Most of the time, we don’t make it to the podium, it’s hard not winning but that’s the reality—it’s hard to win races. So this victory is very sweet,” said Alfonsi, who was still able to pull off the emphatic win even though his gloves became stiff and hardened by the extreme weather conditions.
Alfonsi, who usually trains Friday to Sunday, with his dad Dannie and Vrei Ar Suba at the Carmona Racing Circuit, also plans to hone his craft in the summer in Indonesia and Japan.
“I’m still very new to the sport of motorcycle racing, so I’m still adjusting myself to the environment. Last year, I was very playful and not that really focused on the things I do inside the track but now, I can say I’m more mature. I take it seriously now,” said Alfonsi, whose father wanted him to play golf at first, but relented eventually and let him pursue his passion for motorsports.
Unlike other regular kids who got hooked watching TV shows for children, Alfonsi loved watching MotoGP races when he was just four years old, prompting him to ask his dad for a bike of his own.
“I just fell in love in road racing circuits because of the corner speed and hard braking. I also love the combination of the motorcycle and the racing suits plus the helmets as they look like an astronaut on a fast bike,” said Alfonsi. “My goal is just to enjoy motorsports and if winning will come our way, then it will be a bonus. But for now, we just simply want to enjoy every moment.”
During Saturday’s practice session, Alfonsi led the cast of drivers all the way and even posted the fastest laptime of 34.88, with no rider in the field breaking the 35-second barrier. Sunday’s wet condition was a complete opposite of the previous day, but with practically the same result in the 27-rider field divided into three classes.
It was in the qualifying sprint race when Alfonsi was finally tested. In a desperation move, Ryunosuke tried to make his move on Alfonsi, but took a spill, taking down Soichi in the process and allowing the Filipino rider to cross the finish, with the two riders coming in later.
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