PETALING JAYA: Petronas Yamaha CKJ rider Ahmad Afif Amran is looking forward to a repeat of last year’s performance in Round 7 of the Petronas AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship in Teluk Intan on Sunday.
The Petronas Yamaha CKJ rider fought the haze and extreme heat to blaze to the top of the time sheets in 55.447, edging out Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing rookie Hafiz Nor Azman by 0.218 in the CP130 opening practice on Saturday.
Amirul Ariff Musa (Givi Honda Yuzy Racing), who aced the second free practice recorded the third quickest time of 55.684, with Abdul Muhaimin Roslan (Petronas Yamaha Maju Motor) and Mohd Fitri Ashraf Razali (Petronas Yamaha CKJ) completing the top five.
Others who made the SuperPole cut are Elly Idzlianizar Ilias, Zaqhwan Zaidi, Taufiq Roslan, S. Sasitharen and Adib Rosley.
Terengganu-born Afif won the Teluk Intan race last year after a hard-fought battle with Zaqhwan, stealing the chequered flag from his rival in the dying moments of the race at the 1.3km circuit.
“The practice session was difficult, with the haze and sandy track, but the team did an amazing job setting up the bike swiftly. That gave me an advantage over the field, but I don’t think we’re fast enough ... the top 13 riders are separated by less than a second,” said Afif.
“I’m at ease with the bike now, so I hope to translate today’s pace into a front row start tomorrow. Only then will it be possible for me to fight for victory. My goal here is to pick up maximum points and narrow the gap on (leader) Ahmad Fazrul Sham.”
Afif has 58 points – 37 behind Yamalube AHM’s Ahmad Fazrul (95pts).