Thursday, November 8, 2012

Berita Litar - Zulfahmi Approaches Valencia Grand Prix Pressure-Free

Grand Prix of Valencia – Moto3 Preview

With his achievements already beyond expectations this season, Malaysia’s Moto3 rider Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin goes into the final round of the 2013 Moto3 World Championship at the Valencia Grand Prix in Spain this weekend pressure-free.

“When we start this season, there were no talks of podium finishes, no talks about scoring 100 points … just trying to do our very best, to be consistent and to try finish among the Top 10 … we have actually performed way beyond our expectation … and that’s really good for me.

“So, I will approach this last round in Valencia without any pressure and I am going to really enjoy this race. But, having said that, my approach has always been to give my very best and go for the best possible results. That will not change in Valencia,” said the 21-year old Team AirAsia SIC Ajo Racing rider when asked for comments on the season ender Grand Prix of Valencia.

Marking the 17th round for the Moto3 world championship, the main focus of the race would be the battle for overall second place between two Spanish riders, Luis Salom of RW Racing and Maverick Vinales of Blusens Avintia Racing, who have 208 and 199 points respectively.

The 2012 world championship crown had already been owned by German’s Sandro Cortese, who won it at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang International Circuit (SIC) where he sensationally passed home favourite, Zulfahmi at the final turn of the 19-lap contest; denying the Malaysian the country’s first ever Grand Prix victory.

The second placing took Zulfahmi over the century mark for a total haul of 112 points, which he was unable to add due to mechanical failure on his KTM machine at the Australian Grand Prix in Phillip Island on the following weekend. With 112 points, Zulfahmi is eighth in the championship standing and trails seventh placed Miguel Oliveira of Portugal by only two points on 114 points. Britain’s Danny Kent is sixth with 129 points and is within Zulfahmi’s reach; depending on his performance and the overall results of the race in Valencia this Sunday.

Zulfahmi said: “I am really looking forward for the race. But, I am not putting any specific targets and instead, just go out there and do my best. Hopefully, things goes well for me and the team,” said Zulfahmi, who had received an offer to join the world champion team – Red Bull KTM Racing next year.

While the performances of the top riders like Cortese, Vinales and Salom had been exceptional this season, Zulfahmi was also equally fantastic in this inaugural year of the 120cc Moto3 world championship, which replaced the GP125cc world championship where the Malaysian rider was involved in the last two seasons.

Apart from finishing second in Sepang, he was took pole position for the Malaysian race after topping the qualifying sessions. On many occasions this year, he was leading races including the previous Australian Grand Prix where he started from fifth but surged to the front at the first corner and holding the lead for more than six laps until the mechanical problems.

While noting that the offer from Red Bull KTM excites him, Zulfahmi pointed out that it had not taken him off his tracks even a bit and that he remained focus on his current work with AirAsia SIC Ajo Racing until the end of the season. According to SIC Chief Executive Datuk Razlan Razali, the deal for Zulfahmi to join Red Bull KTM Racing next season was almost finalized; and that SIC would be using the allocated budget to work on the other riders in pursuing their own dreams to compete in the MotoGP world championship.

While it would be unlikely for SIC to have a new rider in Moto3 world championship next season, Razlan confirmed that there would be a wildcard Malaysian rider in the Moto3 race at the Malaysian Grand Prix next year and that a group of riders would be taken for training and selection in Europe for that purpose.

They would include the top riders from the just-concluded SIC Ninja 250 Cup, which is SIC’s new initiative in creating more world class riders like Zulfahmi Khairuddin.

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