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Sunday April 28, 2013

Hafizh grabs pole position in Spanish

PETALING JAYA: Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah (pic) sent out a clear warning to his rivals that he means business in his second season in the Spanish National Champion­ships when he snatched pole position in the Moto2 race at the Catalunya Circuit yesterday.

The Petronas Syntium Raceline rider blazed the track to emerged fastest in the combined qualifying sessions with a time of 2:06.969 around the 4.727m circuit.

Spaniards Alenjandro Marinelarena (Targobank Motorsport) and Daniel Rivas (TSR Motorsport) will fill the front row alongside Hafizh after clocking 2:07.869 and 2:07.933 respectively.

Rain made the Catalunya track wet and tricky all day but Hafizh, who finished sixth overall last season, managed to cope with the poor conditions.

Hafizh checked in second fastest during the first unofficial free practice on Friday, when he was hand-timed at 1:48.800, equalling his best time in 2012 when Catalunya hosted the fourth round of the championship.

In the first qualifying yesterday, Hafizh suffered a slight tumble just after two laps but managed to ride back to the pit to get the bike repaired.

He went out in the last 14 minutes to claim provisional pole with a time of 2:10.085.

The team made some changes for the second qualifying session and, with the improving track condition, Hafizh emerged fastest to claim the pole position.

“The track conditions have been less than ideal but I’m happy with how the bike is performing so far and looking forward to the race tomorrow (today),” said the 19-year-old Hafizh.

“The team worked really hard to get the bike into competitive shape for this round and we’ve been clocking improved times with every practice session. I want to thank the team for getting the bike ready quickly enough for me to rejoin the first qualifying.”

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