Motorsport

Published: Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 8:46:00 PM
Updated: Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 9:05:01 PM

Fresh ride for Zul in 2014

Moto3 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin, in his last promo stint as a KTM rider here, will ride for Honda in the Motorcycle World Championships in 2014.

Moto3 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin, in his last promo stint as a KTM rider here, will ride for Honda in the Motorcycle World Championships in 2014.

SEPANG: Malaysian Moto3 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin will not be short of motivation when he starts the 2014 season on board Honda after two years with KTM.

The 22-year-old, who parted ways with Red Bull KTM Ajo after a mediocre season to join Italian-based team Ongetta, said the learning process of riding a different bike with a new team will be a good motivation for him.

“It’s like a whiff of fresh air after a while with the same surrounding. You would want to make the best of it at a new place,” said Zulfahmi after the launch of the new KTM Super Duke 1290 at the Sepang International Circuit on Saturday.

“Although I will be with a new team, I won’t be exactly starting from scratch as my experience after years in the world championship (from 2010) will be a big help.”

In the past two years since the Moto3 category started, Honda have found themselves lagging behind KTM in terms of competitiveness. In their debut Moto3 season in 2012, Honda managed to win seven races out of 17 – with the rest won by KTM.

This year, KTM won all 17 races.

“What Honda brought to the table was interesting enough for me to make the decision to join them. They realised that they are lagging but are determined to put up a fight for the world championship,” said Zulfahmi, who was making his last appearance as an ambassador for KTM in Malaysia.

As far as the Honda machine for 2014 is concerned, Zulfahmi cannot give a verdict as he has yet to do a proper test on the machine.

“We had a three-day test in Almeria, Spain, last month (Nov 26-28) but I was barely on the bike due to bad weather. But my first impression of the bike is that it is really stable in corners,” he said.

The first official test for Moto3 teams will be on Feb 11-13 next year. The season starts with the Qatar Grand Prix on March 23.

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