Zulfahmi Khairuddin will start from 23rd on the grid at the Spanish MotoGP Moto 3 race. – AFP Photo
PETALING JAYA: Nicking a point at the Argentina Grand Prix on April 27 offered some respite for under fire Malaysian Moto3 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin, but reality bites at Jerez as he will start the Spanish Grand Prix from 23rd on the grid on Sunday.
Zulfahmi could only manage to clock 1:48.073 in qualifying at the Jerez circuit. Australian Jack Miller will start the race on pole position on board KTM after clocking 1:46.173.
Jerez is a familiar track for most Moto3 riders, including Zulfahmi, as they have pre-season tests there every year. However, Zulfahmi failed to master his Honda bike on Saturday and was bugged by braking problems.
“We improved our time from the free practice sessions but I’m still struggling with the bike, especially the braking power.
“A lot of riders could overtake me while braking and that is worrying. Except for the braking issue, the bike works perfectly well,” said Zulfahmi.
Compatriot Amirul Hafiq Azmi, meanwhile, will start from further back on the grid in 32nd spot after a qualifying time of 1:48.513.
In the Moto2 class, Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah will start from 26th on the grid after qualifying in 1:44.563 on Saturday. The Petronas Raceline Malaysia rider improved just a fraction from his final free practice time of 1:44.772.
Mika Kallio of Finland will start from pole on Sunday after setting a time of 1:42.766.
“We are working hard to get the perfect set-up and I’m quite comfortable with the bike,” said Hafizh.
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, meanwhile, will start from 31st on the grid after managing just 1:45.513 after a crash early in qualifying.