Hoping to be international stars one day … some of the riders present at the launch of the Petronas AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championships giving the thumbs-up at the Curve in Damansara.
PETALING JAYA: The business of developing Malaysian riders resumes as the 21st edition of the Petronas AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship kicks off its 2014 season in Kuala Lumpur next month.
The number has grown over the past few years and the growth of the sport has opened up more opportunities for local riders to pursue their careers.
Thirty Malaysian riders have so far gone on to race in various championships or developmental programmes, including World Championship entries Hafizh Syahrin and Zulfahmi Khairuddin.
They may not be gracing the local scene this year but even with the departure of so many riders, the competition is expected to exceed that of previous years.
The vacancies have been quickly filled up by a fresh batch of youngsters eager to take their first step into the world of professional racing via the one-make races sponsored by motorcycle manufacturers Honda and Yamaha.
Additionally, there has also been plenty of movement in the paddock with teams changing line-ups.
Ron Hogg, director of Safe Aim Mutual, the race promoters of the championship, said these elements add spice to the hotly-contested championship that has succeeded in grooming capable riders.
“Rider development at the grassroots level has been revved up another notch this season. In addition to the one-make races that have been instrumental in the early years of the current batch of MotoGP riders’ careers, another programme will be added to the championship this year, spearheaded by defending champion Ahmad Fuad Baharudin,” said Ron, adding that the details would be revealed soon.
Other developments prior to the start of the season include 2013 CP115 champion Ahmad Afif Amran’s confirmed promotion to the CP130 class; Mohd Zamri Baba signing up with team SCK; and Mohd Affendi Rosli moving to the Yamaha factory team – team Petronas Yamaha-CKJ.
The championship also announced that it will now be even more accessible to fans with a full-season live telecast deal inked with national TV station RTM and satellite TV channel Astro Arena 801.
The 10-round championship starts with the opening leg in Batu Kawan, Penang, on April 5 and 6.