Zulfahmi getting to grips with new KTM bike


Malaysian Moto3 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin on his new KTM machine during testing at the Sepang International Circuit

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Moto3 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin is getting good vibes as he is back on his favourite bike KTM for the first 2015 pre-season test at the Jerez circuit in Spain.

After the conclusion of the 2014 season at the Valencia Grand Prix on Nov 9 on a Honda, Zulfahmi went to work with his new team – SIC Racing Team, alongside team-mate Jakub Kornfeil of Czech Republic to gather important data ahead of the new season.

The three-day test which concluded on Friday saw Zulfahmi chalking his best time of 1:49.599 for fourth fastest, on Wednesday in clear weather. Kornfeil was fifth fastest in 1:49.704.

Rain wrecked havoc in the following days which hampered progress.

But setting a fast time was not the main objective for Zulfahmi. He was glad to spend some time familiarising himself with the new KTM bike.

“It felt really good to ride the bike and my first impression is that it is very good compared to my old bike.

“The team have worked very well and it’s been good to get a lot of support from the KTM factory guys who have been with us throughout the test.

“The weather hasn’t been so good, but it is still important to test in both wet and dry conditions, which we did,” said Zulfahmi, who finished a disappointing 20th with just 19 points last season with the Ongetta-AirAsia team.

Team manager Johan Stigefelt said it was a positive test that gives an outline of the work that needs to be done by the team to be competitive for next season.

“Overall, I’m happy with the test. I like the riders and they are getting on well. Our objective is to work more on the bike because it is different from the previous KTM machine.

“It will be a lot of work for us but we know what to do and I can see the potential in both riders and the package we have,” said Stigefelt, who was in charge of Caterham AirAsia Moto2 team last season.

The second official test will be from Feb 10-12 in Valencia followed by Jerez from Feb 17-19 and March 3-5.

The first race of the season will be at Losail International Circuit in Qatar on March 29.

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