Saturday October 27, 2012
Zulfahmi is sixth fastest during free practice in Australia
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Moto3 rider Mohd Zulfahmi Khairuddin put up a commendable performance in Phillip Island – the circuit he least liked during his 125cc days – to finish sixth fastest in a grid of 34 riders during free practice of the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Riding a heavier and more powerful 250cc KTM machine, the AirAsia SIC Ajo Racing Team rider, who claimed a career-first podium with second placing at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Sepang last weekend, clocked 1:40.325 in the second practice in the afternoon to improve on the 1:41.261 he set in the morning session yesterday.
Jonas Folger of Germany clocked the fastest time of 1:39.213, ahead of newly-crowned world champion and compatriot Sandro Cortese 1:39.445.
Zulfahmi failed to qualify on his first visit to the Australian Grand Prix in 2010 and was 27th in qualifying last year during the 125cc era.
Sepang International Circuit chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali was satisfied with the performance of the 21-year-old.
Razlan feels that Zulfahmi is in a good position to finish in the top five overall placing at the end of the season.
After the Australian Grand Prix, there is the final round in Valencia next month and Zulfahmi is currently seventh in the overall standings with 112 points.
Zulfahmi, the only Asian rider in the championship, is just six points behind Britain’s Danny Kent.
“He is clearly more comfortable in a Moto3 250cc machine compared to the lighter 125cc machine around the windy Phillip Island circuit,” said Razlan.
“Looking at the two practice sessions today, it seems he is coping well. We hope he carries the momentum of his performance in Sepang last weekend into the Australian race and go for a top five finish.”