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About me and my racing career

My childhood: I was born on December 14th, 1978 in Semarang, the capital city of Central Java Province. It lies 350 miles east of Jakarta, Indonesia. My father is Agus Marianto, he used to be a auto-rally driver. That's where I got the automotive blood flowing in my body from, I guess. I have a big brother, Jeffrey, who is a tough motorcyle racer as well. When I was seven, I participated in a BMX race. That was my debut in racing.

My racing career: I began competing seriously in motocross racing in 1992. My first win was in 110 cc novice-class on May 1993. Since then until the end of 1993 I had won not less than 30 championships in various motocross events. From 1994 till 1996 I joined Team Yamaha Indonesia and competed in numerous national motocross championship across the country. In the middle of 1996 I began competing in motorcyle road racing. I won the first place in Marlboro Yamaha Cup Race Grand Final on Sentul Circuit at the end of 1996. This triumph brought me to the higher level, Asia Road Racing Championship.

Marlboro Team Roberts Asia (MTRA) was founded in 1996 by "King" Kenny Roberts, the three times 500 cc. Grand Prix champion. One of his purposes of building this team is to promote Asian racers to the world level. Two Malaysian riders, Chow Yan Kit and Shahrun Nizam were the riders of the 1996 team. Robbie Petersen, a former racer himself, was the team manager. MTRA only competed in 250 cc. Sport Production class in Asia Road Racing Championship. 1996 was not a bad year for this team, Chow reached fifth place and Nizam reached 6th place in the final standing.
In 1997 the team retained Chow Yan Kit as the first rider and recruited two more riders, another Malaysian rider, Wazi Abdul Hamid (1996 125 cc. Underbone champion) and myself.
I feel very proud to be the first Indonesian rider ever recruited by a foreign team like this marvelous team. So Marlboro Team Roberts Asia 1997 consisted of the three riders and Robbie Petersen was still the team manager.

Kenny Roberts Training Ranch (KRTR): Kenny Roberts also built a training facility for his teams and other racers. It's located in Montmelo, 20 miles from Barcelona, Spain, side by side with Circuit de Catalunya, one of the World Grand Prix venues. This facility has two dirt track circuits. According to Kenny Roberts, dirt tracking is one of basic skills that every motorcyle road racer must have. Many excellent racers have sharpened their skills at KRTR, Randy Mamola, Wayne Rainey, Luca Cadalora, Norifumi Abe, John Kocinski, and Carlos Checa are some of them.
I was lucky enough to be given chances to train in this wonderful facility. The first time I was there was in January 1997. I was sent there by Marlboro Yamaha Team Indonesia together with two other Indonesian riders, Ade Taruna and Petrus Canisius. After that I have been there twice, in March and June 1997. Each training session there lasted for two weeks. During those session I was trained by Jimmy Felice and Larry Duncarton, former US dirt track racers.

Marlboro Asia Road Racing Championship 1997 (MARRC) consisted of six rounds. It had four classes: 250 cc. Sport Production, 150 cc. Sport Production, 125 cc. Underbone, and 110 cc. Underbone. My team, MTRA, only competed in 250 cc. Sport Production. We rode Yamaha TZM 250s, very fast machines.
Round 1: Pasir Gudang Circuit, Malaysia.
This was my first experience in an international road race and I was the youngest rider on the starting line. My team manager, Robbie Petersen, didn't burden me with any target in this season. "Just race well and reach the finish line," he said. I finished in 13th place.
Round 2: Nakonchiasri Circuit, Thailand.
It was a wet race. The rain poured the 2.5 Kms track. This condition gave me a little advantage. Used to be a motorcross rider, I was accustomed to the wet slippery track. I finished in 7th place just ahead of my team mate, Wazi.
Round 3: Prembudur Circuit, Madras, India.
The bumpy surface and tricky corners caused many riders to fall down. After batling with a Japanese rider, Kawase, I managed to finish in 4th place.
Round 4: Sentul Circuit, Indonesia.
This was my home race. The crowds demanded me to race well, I knew that. Due to a new layer of asphalt, the tires lost traction easily if you were careless. In fact, several riders fell down on the hot tropical track. I, thankfully, finished in 4th place once again.
Round 5: Subic Bay Circuit, Philippines.
This track was formerly the US military runway. It had deadly corners but the surface condition was good. I fell down in lap 15 of 18 laps, while defending my 4th position. Luckily, nothing was damaged, I was able to continue the race and touched the finish line in 6th place.
Round 6: Pasir Gudang Circuit, Malaysia.
MARRC 1997 began and ended at this circuit. I finished in 7th place, much improved compared with my first race here.
In the final standing I reached 4th position after my team mate, Chow Yan Kit, Kuan Meng Heng (1996 250 cc. champ), and Yoichi Nakajima. My other team mate, Wazi, did well too, he grabbed the 7th place in the final standing.



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