Monday, 21 April 2014 | MYT 10:41 PM
Young Khairul dreaming of World Championships
Young Khairul Idham Pawi (mid) on the podium after winning the first two races of the Asia Dream Cup at Sepang. With him is runner-up Teppei Nagoe (left) and third place Aditya Pangestu. - filepic
PETALING JAYA: Like any other aspiring racers, Honda Asia Dream Cup rider Khairul Idham Pawi is hoping to earn a ticket to race in the world championships one day.
The 16-year-old is fast making progress as he seeks to follow in the footsteps of Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Amirul Hafiq Azmi, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman and Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah – who are plying their trades in the Moto3 and Moto2 world championships.
The Perak-born Khairul is currently in his second season in the Asia Dream Cup, a talent development series sponsored by Honda.
Budding talents from around Asia aged between 15 and 23 are eligible for the series, where they race astride standardised Honda CBR250 machines.
In the opening rounds at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC), in conjuction with the Petronas Asia Road Racing Championships (ARRC) last week, Khairul bagged a double by winning both races.
“It’s always been my dream to compete in the world championships one day. I hope that through Asia Dream Cup, I can realise my dream,” said Khairul, who finished fourth overall last year.
Khairul started racing in 2012 in the Honda Wave Junior Challenge in the Malaysian Cub Prix Championships. He won six of the 10 races and proved to be a gem waiting to be polished.
Last year, he moved to the Wira category in the championships and earned two podium finishes – including a win – to finish seventh overall. He could have finished higher had he not crashed so many times.
“I learnt a lot from the Asia Dream Cup trainers last year and I hope to ride even better this year, especially with the addition of former MotoGP rider Shinya Nakano as one of the trainers,” said Khairul.
“Honda sent last year’s winner, Hiroki Ono of Japan, to compete in the Spanish National Championships Moto3 category.
“If I win this year, maybe I would have the chance to join him in Spain to compete in the Moto3 class as well.”