15 Mar MCPRD01: FAZLI BACK IN WINNING FORM
3-times Cub Prix Champion Ahmad Fazli Sham placed team PETRONAS Yamaha Maju back on the title hunt trail when he drew first blood by winning the opening leg of the 2015 PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship in Temerloh, Pahang.
One of the top three riders during the CP130 Timed Practice on Saturday, Fazli suffered a disappointing setback in the critical CP130 SuperPole. Qualifying only fifth fastest for the CP130 Final, Fazli rallied strongly and placed himself second behind leader Norizman Ismail and barely keeping ahead of third placed Zamri Baba. The three-way battle continued until Zamri made a move on Norizman on Lap 8 before losing the lead to Fazli on Lap 9. By Lap 10, Fazli had managed to create a half-second gap ahead of his SCK rival. As the chequered flag came down on Lap 18, Fazli was the clear winner with a time of 13:30.577s, 0.754 seconds in front of Zamri Baba. The last place on the podium was taken up by Norizman Ismail who crossed the finish line with a time of 13:38.604s.
“The bike was amazingly stable this weekend. Our team (PETRONAS Yamaha Maju) are still racing with our 2014 model machines but had completely revamped the engine. At the same time, the team mechanics seem to have found the right formula for our suspension set-up. Today’s bike was a dream to ride! What’s even more exciting for me is that our team manager, Yong Ying Hoe, intends to continue introducing more upgrades as each round progresses,” said Fazli, the early leader in the CP130 standings.
The team’s positive results in Temerloh was not just limited to the CP130 premiere class. Team Maju’s junior rider Kasma Daniel Kasmayuddin celebrated an achievement of his own when he finished on the CP115 podium in second place.
In other developments, Tengku Amirul Haffiruddin managed to extend the team YY Pang domination into the start of the 2015 season when he took the CP115 victory with a time of 11:25.748s. Tengku Amirul, together with team mate Mohd Izzat Zaidi tag-teamed their way to the podium in first and third positions respectively. The hot favourite of the class, Khairul Idham Pawi, was left frustrated by a mechanical failure that occurred on the first lap of the race.
Finally, in the age-capped Wira class, young Saiful Izman Ahmad Zamani lived up to his family name and heritage when he netted his first victory in the open-make classes. The son of former top Malaysian rider Ahmad Zamani Baharuddin and racing for team FELDA AFB Tech Caldinals Racing which is owned by Ahmad Fuad Baharudin, Saiful Izman rode an aggressive race during the Wira Finals to win with a time of 9:28.930s.
Round 2 of the 2015 PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship will take place at Batu Kawan in Pulau Pinang on April 11 and 12, 2015.