PETRONAS Raceline Malaysia’s Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah will start Sunday’s Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix from sixth row after bouncing back from the suspension issues that saw him slip off in Friday’s practice.
The Moto2 rookie who has impressed many by bagging 42 points from the first 16-rounds this season came in 18th quickest out of 35 riders, clocking his fastest lap at 2’08.558s.
He will start the 19-lap race in Sepang alongside Luis Salom and Louis Rossi who recorded their best lap in 2’08398s and 2’08.503s respectively.
Meanwhile a time of 2’07.429s puts Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) on pole as he looks to clinch the Moto2 title this weekend with teammate, Mika Kallio and Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP), completing the front row in 2’07.58s and 2’07.706s.
Speaking at the media debrief, Hafizh commented, “While we are slightly off target (top-15), I am satisfied with today’s qualifying results. Its easier to get in front from this position.”
He went on to add, “The bike has definitely improved a lot from the practice session and at one point I was riding 14th. Unfortunately towards the end of the my rear tyre lost grip, preventing me from reducing my lap time further.”
“Nevertheless, we had a good run so hopefully we can do better for the race and give my country and fans something to cheer about.”
Separately PETRONAS AHM Malaysia’s Mohd Ramdan Rosli impressed in the Moto3 category to qualify for seventh row with 2’15.455s ahead of Sunday’s Moto3 race.
The 19-year old wildcard secured 21st position on the grid having improved by 0.239 seconds from his best free practice time, starting the 18-lap race tomorrow alongside Juanfran Guevara and Jorge Navarro.
Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) meanwhile blazed to his eighth pole position for the season with a stunning 2’12.450s ahead of John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG). The Scottish rider was 0.459 seconds off pole while Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team) completed the front row 0.566 seconds from Miller.
“The team made changes to the gearbox and it made a lot of difference during the qualifying. While it was still hard to bridge the gap with the front guys, I was not too far off so I’m really happy,” he said.
When asked about his targets for the race, Ramdan commented, “This is my first Grand Prix so realistically we are just hoping to finish the race with the top-20. If I can finish within the points (top-15) that would be a bonus for the team.”
1.Esteve Rabat (SPA) 2’07.429s
2.Mika Kallio (FIN) 2’07.587s
3.Sandro Cortese (GER) 2’07.706s
4.Maverick Vinales (SPA) 2’07.754s
5.Thomas Luthi (SWI) 2’07.849s
18.Hafizh Syahrin (MAS) 2’08.558s
1.Jack Miller (AUS) 2’12.450s
2.John Mcphee (GBR) 2’12.909s
3.Jakub Kornfeil (CZE) 2’13.016s
4.Efren Vazquez (SPA) 2’13.040s
5.Alex Marquez (SPA) 2’13.315s
21.Ramdan Rosli (MAS) 2’15.455s