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Wednesday September 14, 2005

Indon racer Doni gets wildcard entry for Malaysian GP


PETALING JAYA: Indonesian teenager Doni Tata Pradita will realise his dream to compete against the world's best riders in the Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit from Sept 23-25. 

The 14-year-old Doni, who was crowned the Asian Road Racing Championships (ARRC) Underbone 115cc champion recently, has been confirmed along with two Chinese riders, Li Zhengpeng and Wang Zhu, as wild card entries for the Malaysian GP. 

In the 13th round of the World Championships, Doni, representing Team Yamaha Indonesia, will be in the company of title contenders Thomas Luthi, Mika Kallio and Gabor Simoncelli in the 125cc events. The Chinese riders will race in the 250cc category. 

“Doni is today the biggest name in motorcycle racing in Indonesia,” said the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) general manager, Ahmad Mustafa. 

“And based on his performance in the ARRC, he definitely has the potential to go far in his racing career.” 

In the ARRC, the Jogjakarta-born rider won the Underbone 115cc category with one more round to spare after collecting 195 points from seven victories in eight races. 

Winner of the novice championships of the Yamaha Asian Cup in 2003 and 2004, Doni is also the current leader in the Indonesia national championships for the 115cc class. 

“It will definitely be interesting to see how Doni fares riding on a 125cc bike in competitive races for the first time.  

“It will great to see him in action against all those great young riders,” said Ahmad. 

Zhengpeng and Wang Zhu will ride for Zongshen Team China. They will be astride Aprilia machines in their fight against the powerful Hondas of current championship leader and defending champion Daniel Pedrosa, Hector Barbera, Jorge Lorenzo, Hiroshi Aoyama and last year's 125cc champion Andrea Dovizioso. 

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