SEPANG: It was a much improved version of Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah in the Moto2 qualifying on Saturday as he posted the 18th fastest time with 2:08.441 for his third wildcard appearance in the world championships this year.
Last year at Sepang, the Petronas Raceline Malaysia rider started from 27th on the grid but went on to finish fourth in a soaking wet race.
”It may not look like much but you have to remember that 18th is much better than last year. My lap-times are also consistent during qualifying and I’m very happy with that,” said Hafizh, who also featured in the Grand Prix of Catalunya and French Grand Prix as a wildcard rider.
“Furthermore, I managed to achieve my goal of clocking 2:08 and that is a good thing. But the bad thing is that I sprained my left arm this morning because I changed my riding style a bit but I will be okay,” he said.
Spaniard Esteve Rabat will start from pole in the Moto2 race on Sunday with a time of 2:07.063 while Swiss Thomas Luthi is second (2:07.081). Pol Espargaro of Spain will start from third with 2:07.161.
Hafizh said the team would tinker with the bike’s gears as he needs some speed on the corners to be able to keep up with the top 10 riders in the race.
”I think to finish with points tomorrow is possible. Even if it rains, I would still try to finish in a good position because, based on last year’s race, I know I can do it,” said Hafizh.
Meanwhile, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman of Honda Team Asia crashed just four laps into qualifying and could not continue the session due to a damaged bike. He posted a best time of 2:10.276 to start from 27th.
Zaqhwan Zaidi who replaces Randy Krummenacher in Technomag Carxpert, meanwhile, will start from 32nd with a time of 2:10.995.