HAFIZH FASTEST AT PENANG ESPLANADE
3 December 2011
Being out of contention for the CP130 title did not stop Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah from delivering a strong blow to rivals as he appeared fastest in the timed practice sessions at Penang Esplanade, Penang, host to the 2011 PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship season finale.
The 17-year old recorded 46.492s in his ninth lap to master the premier timesheets followed by Abdul Muhaimin Roslan (Yamaha Maju Motor Racing) and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (Harian Metro TEQ SCK Honda Racing) 46.936s and 47.202s respectively. Additionally, the PETRONAS Syntium Moto Yamaha Raceline representative dominated the first two free practice sessions earlier today with 46.921s and 46.572s as well.
Content with his pace, Hafizh intends to keep the momentum rolling for the SuperPole session tomorrow. He strongly believes he has what it takes to add another pole position to his Cub Prix career and defend his good record at Penang Esplanade to which he has won back-to-back since it was introduced.
"We still have the SuperPole and race which I anticipate will be really intense as this is the final race for the season but for now I'm quite satisfied with my laptime. It showed constant improvement from the morning practice and with some minor changes to the front suspensions which gave me some chatter just now, I believe I can go faster."
Talk about his goals, Hafizh currently placed fourth in the standings with 82 points went on to add, "I want to kill two birds with one stone. I want to try to win and improve my position in the CP130 overall standings and also the team's position in the the team overall standings. It will be tough but I feel confident because I have good memories winning here at Penang Esplanade since it was introduced in 2009." he said.
Meanwhile, Sasitharen Sukumaran continues to show rapid progress. He clocked the best lap time in the CP115 timed practice sessions with 47.916s ahead of CP115 title candidate, Shahril Izzuwan Mohd Noor (PETRONAS Syntium Moto Yamaha AHM) with 47.968s. Mohd Farid Ahmad (Global Bike Rock Oil Racing) registered third, 48.102s.
Though confident he has what it takes to fight for the podium tomorrow, Sasi has no intention of letting his guard down from the field especially against Shahril who is separated by just 0.052s.
"It feels good to continue making strong progress and record a satisfying lap time but the race weekend is far from over. We still have the heat and race to look forward to which I hope to ace but I'm well aware it wont be easy. Shahril's time is just a fraction of a second off mine so I have to be really careful," said Sasi who hails from Puchong.
He went on to add, "My Honda packs a lot of power and seeing that Penang Esplanade focuses a lot on rolling speed, I'll be racing with some advantages tomorrow. I just hope luck doesn't run out on me like it did in Sepang," expressed the M-Seki Liberty Honda Racing rider.
In the Wira category, Mohd Adib Rosley made a strong comeback following two dissapointing outings in Malacca (Round 8) and Sepang (Round 9). The Motul Yamaha YY Pang Racing rider timed 48.896s to beat closest rival, Tengku Amirul Haffiruddin (Pennzoil Malaysia Racing) who appeared second fastest with 49.124s followed by Fakhrusy Syakirin Rostam (AAP Mazoil Faito Racing) third, 49.132s.
Pleased to have moved away from the technical issues which left him pointless in the past two legs, the 16-year old commented, "I'm grateful and happy to once again ride strongly after the mishaps in Malacca and Sepang which I could have fought for the podium if not finish among top five and pick up points. So to finish on top of the timesheets again is a big relief," he said.
However, Adib is far from content with his laptime despite being the only rider out of 41 contestants to hit the 28 second mark. In fact the 2010 Wira Champion hopes to cut down his laptime in the heat sessions on Sunday.
"48.896s is good but not good enough and I intend to improve this tomorrow. I'm looking at possibilities of clocking in around 48.500s. At the moment, the Yamaha is very competitive in terms of setup but my riding isn't 100 percent perfect yet so I will have to work on that. Hopefully, I can secure pole position and fight for the podium before the season ends," added Adib.
Moving on to the Honda Wave Junior Challenge Cup, Mohd Firdaus Zainol appeared fastest with 52.619s followed by Hamizan Noordin second, 53.407s and Suhaizarul Suhaizat third, 53.449s.
As for the Yamaha EgoLC PETRONAS Cup, Championship leader Mohd Shafiq Rasol was fastest with 57.348s followed by Mohd Nasri Mohd Ishak and Mohd Izrul Huzaime Amran with 57.754s and 57.915s respectively.
And the Privateer class timed practice was aced by Ang Beng Seang with 51.022s followed by Mohd Imran Zulkafli with 51.025s and Husni Kahar Khuri 52.171s.
Issued by Global PR Sdn Bhd
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