SEPANG: Seasoned campaigner Ahmad Fazli Sham put on a stunning performance to pick up his first win in four years at Round 6 of the Petronas Malaysian Cub Prix Championship at the Sepang North Track.
Fazli, who announced his retirement from cub prix in 2019, made a comeback this season when the ONEXOX TKKR SAG team roped him in to replace the injured Nazirul Izzat Bahauddin.
Joining the championship at the midway point, Fazli’s initial results were mediocre until he finally got into his stride yesterday.
The Yamaha rider started from second row after qualifying sixth fastest in the CP150 Super Pole.
Championship leaders Mohd Helmi Azman and Azroy Hakeem Anuar had the front row on lockdown.
As the 11-lap race flagged off, Fazli began to show a more mature and controlled performance. He gradually took control and was fighting for the lead after the fifth lap.
By Lap 7, the top 14 riders were still bunched in a pack with the action intensifying as the lapboards ticked down to the final lap.
Fazli made his move and tucked in behind teammate and leader Mohd Muzakkir Mohamed at the last corner, breaking out of the slipstream to pip Muzakkir to the win with a time of 14:36.045. Muzakkir made it a 1-2 finish for their team with 14:36.082.
“Based on the outcome of Round 5, we needed a new strategy to check Helmi’s domination. Mid-way through the race, I was beginning to see gaps in my competitors’ racing lines that I could exploit. This strategy worked really well and I’m so pleased with the results, ” said Fazli.
His breakthrough snapped Helmi’s string of wins at the Sepang International Circuit. The Hi Rev SCK Honda Racing rider finished in third place but had done enough to even the score at the top of the championship table.
Helmi is now tied with best friend Azroy on 107 points.