Thursday, October 10, 2013

Zaqhwan gets last-minute wildcard for Moto2

Zaqhwan Zaidi is replacing injured Randy Krummenacher in the Moto2 race in Sepang on Friday.
Zaqhwan Zaidi is replacing injured Randy Krummenacher in the Moto2 race in Sepang on Friday.

SEPANG: Malaysian motorcycle fans will have one more local hero to cheer for as the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix revs off at Sepang on Friday.

Suzuka 4-Hour Endurance reigning champion Zaqhwan Zaidi, who races in the Petronas AAM Malaysian Cub Prix under team GiVi Honda Yuzy and in the Petronas Asia Road Racing Championship under Musashi Boon Siew Honda, has been selected by team Technomag-Carxpert to replace the injured Randy Krummenacher in Moto2.

The Swiss rider crashed at Silverstone last month and also missed the Aragon Grand Prix subsequently as he complained of a recurrent neck problem.

The opportunity for Zaqhwan to make his debut at the world stage came about when team principal Fred Corminboeuf, who is aware of Shahrol Yuzy’s role as the first to spot and train up Zulfahmi Khairuddin, approached the former Malaysian GP rider for a suitable replacement for the team’s second rider.

The MotoGP organisers gave the green light Wednesday for another Malaysian wildcard rider.
With the addition of Zaqhwan, there will be six local riders on the grid, making it the highest number since the country played host to its first world championship motorcycling event in 1991.
There will be three in Moto3 and three in Moto2.

Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Amirul Hafiq Azmi and Husni Aizat Abdul Malik will race as wildcards in Moto3.

Hafizh Syahrin will return as a wildcard in Moto2 alongside Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman of Honda Team Asia.

Shahrol thanked his team sponsors Boon Siew Honda and GiVi for their support in his efforts to groom more Malaysian talents.
“We feel honoured that the team approached us directly with this opportunity. But since this was a last minute arrangement, there has hardly been any time for Zaqhwan to prepare himself for this challenge.

“Therefore, we have not set any targets for him. The first practice this Friday will be the very first time Zaqhwan gets astride a Moto2 Suter machine and we just want him to learn as much as he can this weekend,” said Shahrol.

With Azlan’s departure to the world series, Zaqhwan had been one of the young riders earmarked for future development by the Honda marquee.

He currently stands second overall in the Malaysian Cub Prix Championship and tenth overall in the competitive SuperSports 600cc class of the Asian series.

This sudden opportunity to wildcard in the Moto2 class is expected to spur Zaqhwan and put him on the fast track to become a world-level rider.

“I am excited about my upcoming wildcard ride. When Yuzy told me the good news on Tuesday evening, I could barely believe my ears.

“My first task would be to qualify for the race and I am determined to make it happen. It will be great to race in front of our home crowd alongside Hafizh and Azlan,” said Zaqhwan.

by lim teik huat - The Star

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