Thursday, 13 February 2014 | MYT 6:19 PM
Mixed fortunes for Malaysians in Valencia pre-season testing
A file picture of Zulfahmi Khairuddin. He could not take part in all the Valencia pre-season testing sessions as he only got his 2014 engine on Wednesday evening.
PETALING JAYA: After two days of testing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Malaysians in the Moto2 and Moto3 world championships had mixed fortunes in their respective pits.
While Moto2 rider Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) was contented using the 2013 Kalex bike, Moto3 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin was stuck with an older version of the Honda engine for most of the test.
Azlan was unable to get his hands on the new machine as Kalex would only supply it to 14 riders in the championship per season.
Meanwhile, Zulfahmi was due to perform a shakedown on the 2014 Honda engine at Valencia but he only got his engine on Wednesday evening.
As a result, he could not start the test in the first session on Tuesday and could only manage seven laps when he got his old engine ready by the end of the day.
After Wednesday’s test, Zulfahmi’s fastest time was 1:43.019, some 3.565 behind fastest man Niccolo Antonelli who is on board a KTM.
However, an interesting development took place inside the SIC-Ajo pit where Amirul Hafiq Azmi was preparing for his debut season in the world championship. Hafiq took to the new KTM bike like a duck to water when he was sixth fastest after the first day.
But Hafiq could not contain his exuberance on the bike and suffered a crash on Wednesday, which dented his confidence in the bike.
After two days of testing, Hafiq was 17th fastest on 1:40.734, 1.280 slower than fastest man Antonelli on 1:39.454.
“I am happy with the test so far because I managed to get a good feeling on the bike right from the first day. As I tried to push harder, I lost the front end and flipped over the bike,” said the 18-year-old Hafiq.
“On the second day, we tried out new parts on the bike. We changed the front suspension and also used a new disc brake, which gives a lot better braking and I’m very happy with the progress.”