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Monday May 6, 2013
By SHAMSHUL FITRI
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Moto3 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin can thank his lucky stars as he managed to finish seventh in the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez after starting from 11th on the grid yesterday.
Having started from the fourth row for the third time in as many races since the opening race in Qatar, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider yet again produced a magnifi- cent ride to finish the race in a respectable position after finishing sixth in Qatar and seventh in United States.
The race, which was red-flagged in the 16th lap after Alan Techer (CIP Moto3) crashed out and required medical assistance, was won by Maverick Vinales (Team Calvo) in 26:57.338. It was his first win of the season.
Zulfahmi’s team-mate Luis Salom settled for second place while Jonas Folger (Mapfre Aspar) came in third.
The 22-year-old Zulfahmi, who had a difficult qualifying round on Saturday, started well to overtake some riders at the start of the race but just as he was about to make a move to make contact with the front riders on lap 17, the race was stopped.
“I’m happy with the race because we had a difficult time in practice and qualifying. Luckily the race turned out well,” he said.
“The start was not so bad as I managed to maintain my position going into the first corner. But as the race progressed, I managed to overtake some riders and got some advantage.”
Zulfahmi was plagued by a front suspension problem during qualifying on Saturday and to make matters worse, he was stuck with a slow group.
In the race proper yesterday, Zulfahmi finally found his pace as he was fighting for the fifth position but as the race was red-flagged, the race organisers decided the results will be based on the previous lap’s standings.
“This is a good sign for me as we head to LeMans (French GP on May 19). Hopefully I can do better there and get a good position in the session,” he said.
1. Maverick Vinales (Spa) Team Calvo 26:57.338,
2. Luis Salom (Spa) Red Bull KTM Ajo 0.263 behind,
3. Jonas Folger (Ger) Mapfre Aspar 4.475,
4. Brad Binder (Rsa) Amrbogio Racing 15.104,
5. Jakub Kornfeil (Cze) Redox RW Racing 18.412,
6. Niklas Ajo 19.064,
7. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Mas) Red Bull KTM Ajo 19.204,
8. Efren Vazquez (Spa) Mahindra Racing 19.680,
9. Romano Fenati (Ita) San Carlo Team Italia 22.763,
10. Alexis Masbou (Fra) Ongetta Rivacold 23.138.
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