Mohd Hafiz Nor Azman admits he is enjoying the lack of incessant pressure that comes with being a rookie as he prepares for his CP130 debut in the opening round of the 2015 PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship at Temerloh, Pahang this weekend.
Hafiz who was last seen competing in the CP115 class in 2013 took a year off last year following a fallout with his previous team and for 2015 he returns to the grid with Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing, a team whose riders have finished first or second in the CP130 standings for three years running.
He is set to partner seasoned contenders, Norizman Ismail, Mohd Zamri Baba and Elly Idzlianizar Ilias.
“Riding for a top team usually comes with a lot of pressure. Fortunately, for a rookie, the pressure is not that bad but it does not mean I can afford to rest on my laurels either,” said Hafiz.
“SCK has enjoyed many great victories and I intend to justify their faith in me by contributing to their success story. I’m ready to surprise a few people and show everyone what I can do,” he added.
While most riders would tremble at the prospect of having to go up against a grid comprising highly-experienced riders having taken some time off racing, the 19-year-old actually relishes the challenge and believes that only by racing against the big boys can he revive his Cub Prix career.
Hafiz also believes he can spring an occasional surprise in 2015 as he adapts to the new Honda machinery and competition in the CP130.
“A lot of people are quite skeptical about me moving up to the CP130 this year with a new bike and team but I strongly believe this is the best option to revive my career. I am certain I can spring a couple of surprises because I have been keeping my fitness in check and throughout the past one year I’ve been following and studying every single race via live telecast.
“Additionally, I have one of the best team supporting me this season – a team that has won the CP130 team awards three years in a row and produced premiere class champions such as Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman and Norizman Ismail. This alone is a huge confidence booster,” he added.