Hafiq eyes good run in Rookies Cup

PETALING JAYA: If everything falls into place for Amirul Hafiq Mohd Azmi in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup next year, he will be on his way to riding a full season in the World MotoGP Championships.

The 14-year-old, who qualified after the final selection last week in Monteblanco in Spain, will join 13 other riders aged between 12 and 16 years from around the world to compete in the Cup next year.

Despite having no prior experience with a 125cc bike, Hafiq managed to outshine 67 hopefuls and impressed the selectors to pick him during the trials.

Hafiq’s father Mohd Azmi said the selection process proved to be very competitive as some of the riders are champions in their countries.

“It’s not easy to make the cut but I must say Hafiq put up a good show as he did not stumble under pressure,” said Mohd Azmi.

“Hafiq was merely adapting to the bike on the first day and by the second day, he already showed tremendous improvement on the bike.”

The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup is a springboard for aspiring riders to make the jump into the 125cc MotoGP world championship.

Riders will ride a 45-horsepower KTM RC125, different from the slightly underpowered Metrakit Pre GP 125, used in the selection event.

Graduates from the Cup who have gone into the 125cc MotoGP championship includes Sturla Fagerhaug of Air Asia-Sepang International Circuit and Jakub Kornfeil (Racing Team Germany).

Meanwhile, Hafiq, who plies his trade with MOS Yamaha Racing in the Petronas AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championships in the Wira category, said he will keep a level head ahead of the Round 7 of the championships this weekend at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Malacca.

“Even though I have a ticket to the Red Bull Rookies Cup, I still want to stamp my mark in Cub Prix. I have yet to chalk up my first win and I hope I will get my break before the season is over,” said Hafiq, who is currently fifth in the Wira standings on 53 points.

Leading the standings is Mohd Adib Rosley of Motul Yamaha YY Pang on 100 points, followed by team-mate Mohd Azhar Abdul Jalil on 97 points. Mohd Fitri Ashraf Razali (Caviaga Modenas Cilik Racing) is a distance third with 79 points while Mohd Syawalludin Mohd Zaki (Modenas FortyOne) is fourth on 69 points.

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