Friday, November 9, 2012

Berita Litar - Zulfahmi Named as Most Improved Rider for Moto3

Malaysia’s Moto3 Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin has added another accolade in what is already a sensational 2012 season for the Team AirAsia SIC Ajo rider after he was named as 2012 Most Improved Rider for Moto3 class by – the official website for MotoGP world championship.

The selection of Zulfahmi, who had risen from 18th overall in the old GP125cc last year to eighth overall in the new Moto3 World Championship in 2012, was made by the website’s ‘After The Flag’ programme, which conducted the selection exercise every year.

“I am indeed very proud to receive this award. It’s a massive recognition of my effort this year; and it will definitely spur me to work even harder in achieving my goals to become a top world class rider. This award will undoubtedly give me more confidence next year,” said Zulfahmi, who was 24th overall in his debut season in the world championship in the GP125 class.

“I would like to thank the team and KTM for their support … without a shred of doubt, their support was a key factor to my success this year,” added Zulfahmi, who started his world GP adventure as a wildcard rider at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in 2009 where he finished in a commendable 20th spot.

His dedication and commitment earned him a ride at the final round at the Valencia Grand Prix and his first taste on competition in Europe. Unfortunately, he crashed out of the race; but that had no effect on the confidence of his sponsors – Sepang International Circuit (SIC) and Malaysia’s low-budget carrier AirAsia to put him in a full season of the GP125cc world championship in 2010.

After a challenging debut season as he learned all the curves of the MotoGP racing track around the world in 2010 with the support of Italian-based Ongetta Racing Team, he showed vast improvement in his second year at the GP125cc world championship.

From 24th position in the world standings with just four world championship points in his debut season, Zulfahmi, who had world champion Ajo Racing as the team’s technical partner in 2011, improved his position to 18th in 2011 with a haul of 30 points.

In 2012 at the first season of the new 250cc Moto3 world championship, where he continued to have the support of Ajo Racing, Zulfahmi, who now rides a KTM factory bike, was a revelation as he kicked off the new season by scoring his best ever finish in sixth position.

He bettered that result with a fourth place finish in Round 3 at Estoril; effectively confirming himself as among the top 10 riders and always among the riders in the leading group; and even leading some of the races, clocking fastest lap times and securing front row starts.

At his home Grand Prix in Sepang, Zulfahmi created more history for Malaysian motorsports as he topped qualifying to secure his first ever pole position on his 21st birthday; and delivering the country’s first podium win on the following day; when he finished a close second behind world champion Sandro Cortese.

With only this weekend’s Valencia Grand Prix before the conclusion of the season, Zulfahmi is eighth in the overall standings with 112 points after 16 rounds; trailing seventh placed Miguel Oliveira of Portugal by only two points, who has 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.

Commenting on the Valencia, Zulfahmi, who would be joining Red Bull KTM Racing next year, said he liked the conditions of the track, which had been laid with a new surface for this year’s race.

“Hopefully, the condition of the track is better than last year especially when it rains. Based on the weather forecast for this weekend, it’s going to be an unpredictable weather again. It’s cloudy and raining in Valencia lately.

“Last year, the weather was not so good and I also had mechanical problems with the bike. Hopefully, everything goes well and according to plan this weekend,” said Zulfahmi, who finished in 25th place and three laps behind winner Maverick Vinales.

“This year, however, is going to be different … we have had good lap times throughout the season and I am confident we can do the same here in Valencia. But, whatever it is – rain or shine – I aim to enjoy myself this weekend,” Zulfahmi added.


April 8, 2012 Qatar Grand Prix, Losail: Qualified 7th; Race Position 6th

April 29, 2012 Spain Grand Prix, Jerez: Qualified 28th, Race Position 10th

May 6, 2012 Portugal Grand Prix, Estoril: Qualified 5th, Race Position 4th

May 20, 2012 France Grand Prix, Le Mans: Qualified 10, Race DNF

June 3, 2012 Catalunya Grand Prix, Catalunya: Qualified 2nd; Race Position 8th

June 17, 2012 British Grand Prix, Silverstone: Qualified 18th, Race Position 9th

June 30, 2012 Netherlands Grand Prix, Assen: Qualified 18, Race Position 11th

July 8, 2012 Germany Grand Prix, Sachsenring: Qualified 20th, Race Position 6th

July 15, 2012 Italian Grand Prix, Mugello: Qualified 7th, Race Position 9th

August 19, 2012 Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Qualified 7th, Race Position 9th

August 26, 2012 Grand Prix of Czech Republic, Brno Qualified 3rd, Race Position DNF

September 16, 2012 Grand Prix of San Marino, Misano Qualified 8th, Race Position 11th

September 30, 2012 Grand Prix of Aragon, Motorland Qualified 7th, Race Position DNF

October 14, 2012 Grand Prix of Japan, Motegi Qualified 4th, Race Position 5th

October 21, 2012 Grand Prix of Malaysia, Sepang Qualified 1st, Race Position 2nd

October 28, 2012 Grand Prix of Australia, Phillip Island Qualified 5th, Race Position DNF

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