PETALING JAYA: Former MotoGP and World Superbike topgun Shinya Nakano has advised teenager Mohd Fitri Ashraf Razali to stop being a “nice guy” on the track.
The Asia Dream Cup trainer said that the 19-year-old Fitri should focus on producing results in the remaining two rounds of the Petronas Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC), beginning with the race in Autopolis (Round 5), Japan, this weekend.
“Fitri has been a lot more consistent this year. Except for one race, he has always finished within the top five. Last year, his results graph showed too many ups and downs ... this is an improvement. I think Fitri is capable of a lot more. He has a good riding technique ... the only problem is that he tends to carry his friendly personality onto the track,” said Nakano.
Fitri is ranked third behind Hiroki Ono and Gerry Salim after four rounds of competition. He has three podium finishes so far and also three near-misses – having been pipped at the finish line to settle for fourth.
“With a Moto3 test and possible wildcard on the line again for the 2013 batch of Asia Dream Cup riders, Fitri cannot afford to be complacent. I hope he shows a stronger will to win in the next two rounds to ensure that he qualifies for the test. A good example of a rider with a strong heart is Ono,” said Nakano, 36.
“Despite leading the championship by a big margin, Ono has never slackened in his preparations for races and used every single opportunity given to him to continue impressing everyone that he is worthy of a shot at the world level.
“With his innate talent and speed, Fitri can also reach Ono’s level. All he needs is more confidence in his abilities.”