Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi needs to learn how to manage the bike and not just focus on being fast.
PETALING JAYA: Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi should take it easy ahead of this weekend’s CP130 race of the Petronas AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship in Malacca.
This is the advice from his mentor Shahrol Yuzy. The Givi Honda Yuzy Racing team principal is worried that 19-year-old Zaqhwan will not last the pace of the season if he pushes too hard too soon.
Since the season started in April, Zaqhwan has been on fire, topping all the practice sessions in the first three rounds, securing two pole positions and winning two races – in Batu Kawan and Terengganu.
The youngster could have made it three wins in three races but a hard ride in Muar last month cost his engine to blow out after just four laps.
“We are happy to see Zaqhwan topping the elements of a race weekend and he is definitely proving to be a championship contender,” said Shahrol.
“But, he may be too fast for his own good and the engine won’t be able to take it. It has come to a point that the engineers have had to mechanically slow him down.
“We do not want another incident like Muar. It is dangerous for him and the other riders as well. He needs to look beyond just being fast, but also learn how to manage the bike.
“That is the only way he can continuously finish every race and pick up championship points.
“With his wildcard ride in the World Superbike Championship (WSBK) coming up, we hope Zaqhwan takes it easy in Malacca and rides within the limits. We want him to challenge the world’s best SuperSports 600cc riders without any injuries.”
Zaqhwan, who completed last season’s Cub Prix Championship third overall, was selected as a wildcard in the WSBK based on his good track record in the Asia Road Racing Championship where he competes in the hyper competitive SuperSports 600cc class.
This will be the Banting-born rider’s second appearance on the world stage after last year’s Moto2 entry as a replacement rider in the Malaysian Grand Prix, which ended prematurely when he got caught in a massive pile up early into the race.
He will be racing under Team Ten Kate Racing Products led by team manager Ronald Ten Kate.