PETALING JAYA: Things are beginning to look good for Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.
The Malaysian Moto2 ace found some early pace at Phillip Island as he seeks to secure back-to-back top-10 finishes.
Hafizh, who finished strongly in eighth spot at the Japanese Grand Prix last Sunday, finished 12th fastest after clocking 1:34.158 in the second free practice session.
Hafizh was 1.101 seconds adrift of championship leader and pacesetter Esteve Rabat (1:33.057) of Spain.
Germany’s Sandro Cortese (1:33.655) and Thomas Luthi of Switzerland (1:33.681) were second and third fastest respectively.
The Petronas Raceline Malaysia engineers had made several changes to his suspension set-up, thus offering Hafizh a little more grip on the rear.
“I certainly felt more confident in this session with the bike more stable, especially at the hills and the fast turns,” said the 20-year-old.
“The bike set-up was a positive factor and I could ‘gas’ more when exiting the sweeping turns.
“I hope to improve more tomorrow as I am still 1.1 seconds behind the top guy, Tito Rabat.”
Hafizh is currently ranked 18th the championship standings with 42 points.
Another Malaysian in Moto2 action, Azlan Shah Kamaruddin of Idemitsu Honda Team Asia, finished in a disappointing 31st spot after clocking 1:35.934.
In Moto3, Hafiq Azmi of SIC-AJO finished 22nd quickest in 1:38.301 to outshine compatriot Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta-AirAsia), who finished four rungs lower after clocking 1:38.766.
Home rider Jack Miller chalked up the fastest time of 1:37.033, beating Spanish duo Efren Vazquez (1:37.065) and Juanfran Guevara (1:37.077).