Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Berita Litar - Hafizh Syahrin returns to Sepang with a Bang and Sparks GP Wildcard Talk

Malaysian Super Series Bikes – Round 3

Teenage sensation Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah, who is making waves this season at the prestigious CEV Spanish Championship, showed his class at the local arena as the 18-year old rider swept aside the Supersports grid in his return to the Malaysian Super Series at Sepang Circuit this year.

Making his first appearance at the MSS this season at Round 3 today, Hafizh, who rides for Team Petronas Sprinta Raceline Racing Team, was a class above his rivals as the Ampang-born rider ruled the free practice session on his Yamaha R6 machine, clocking 2 minutes 14.948 seconds and 1.552 seconds faster that his closest rival, Ahmad Fuad Baharuddin.

Fuad, a former MSS Supersports champion and currently fourth in the point standings with 40 points, clocked 2 minutes 16.500 seconds for his best lap around the 5.543-km MotoGP circuit on his Kawasaki ZXR machine. Fuad’s younger brother and Bike Art Racing team-mate was third fastest with a time of 2 minutes 17.735 seconds.

Australian youngster Michael Blair, who currently leads the 600cc Supersports Championship with 70 points, was fifth fastest; finishing behind Mohd Zamri Baba with a time of 2 minutes 19.210 seconds. Zamri, the Malaysian Moto2 wildcard rider for the past two Malaysian GPs, clocked 2 minutes 18.959 seconds.

Asked for comments on Hafizh’s participation for the weekend, team manager Barry Leong said that his rider was merely taking advantage of a long break in the Spanish series.

“He’s here just for keeping fit and for conditioning. His next race in the CEV Spanish Championship is in mid-November, which would be Round 7 and the final round. It just makes sense to return to Malaysia and maintain his physical conditioning here while waiting for the race,” said Barry.

He declined to comment on the possibility of Hafizh trying out again on the Moto2 wildcard ticket at the Malaysian Grand Prix; saying that the matter was not up to him to decide; though he agreed that Hafizh was ready for the challenge and better his performance last year.

Entered as wildcard riders in the Moto2 class, Hafizh finished a creditable 22nd place at the Malaysian GP with Zamri, who was making his second appearance as Moto2 wildcard rider, finishing two places ahead in 20th position.

After a long absence, Malaysia had entered wildcards riders back at the Malaysian GP since 2009 with Elly Idzlianizar Ilias and Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin in the 125cc class. In the following year, Malaysia has Zamri in Moto2. Muhammad Farid Badrul Hisham was the wildcard rider in GP125cc last year as he joined Zamri and Hafizh in flying the Jalur Gemilang.

After six rounds, Hafizh now leads the Privateer Cup, which grouped all the non GP riders with a massive haul of 118 points. Of the six race, Hafizg won three of them – one in Navarra and twice in Albecete.

“Hafizh actually also won in Aragon; but was disqualified on technical grounds. It was indeed very disappointing … it could have been four wins,” Barry said, adding that the Petronas Sprinta Raceline rider is currently sixth in the overall standings with 55 points.

“I am very happy with his performance … despite competing in Europe for the first time, he showed plenty of maturity and confidence. He is very capable of great things in the future,” said Barry of the 2010 Malaysian Cub Prix expert champion.

In the Superbike Championship, Steve Martin clocked the fastest time in free practice with 2 minutes 17.028 seconds with three-time champion Yasuhiro Kuhara second on time sheet with 2 minutes 17.181 seconds. Luca Cassoni had the third fastest time for the session with 2 minutes 18.882 seconds.

In the Superstock category, defending champion and championship leader Ahmad Zamani Baharuddin, had the fastest time in free practice with a time of 2 minutes 16.973 seconds with Nizam Fairuz and Nasaruddin Mat Yusop second and third respectively with a time of 2 minutes 20.532 seconds; and 2 minutes 21.395 seconds.

Free Practice – Sepang Circuit (5.543km)
Top Three Fastest Time

Superbike Championship (Open)
1. Steve Martin (Kawasaki ZX10) 2:17.028s
2. Yasuhiro Kuhara (Honda CBR1000) 2:17.181s
3. Luca Cassoni (Honda CBR1000) 2:18.882s

Superstock Championship (Open)
1.Ahmad Zamani Baharuddin (Kawasaki ZX10R) 2:16.973s
2. Nizam Fairuz Hassan (Honda CBR 1000) 2:20.532s
3. Nasarudin Hj Mat Yusop (BMW S1000RR) 2:21.395s

Supersports Championship (Open)
1. Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah (Yamaha R6) 2:14.948s
2. Ahmad Fuad Baharudin (Kawasaki ZX6R) 2:16.500s
3. Ahmad Nashrul Baharuddin (Kawasaki ZX6R) 2:17.735s