DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team rider Jakub Kornfeil looked set to claim the team’s first top ten finish, when an unfortunate incident caused the Czech rider to crash out of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Battling hard from the start of the 23 lap race, Kornfeil worked his way up to seventh position where he became locked in a six rider fight for sixth place. With eight laps remaining Japanese rider Hiroki Ono lost control of his bike into turn six, catching the front wheel of the #84 machine and putting an early end to Kornfeil’s race.
Starting from row ten on the grid, teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin had a difficult task at hand. Eager to make amends for his disappointing qualifying position, the Malaysian rider made a good start off the line, but continuing to struggle with the feeling on his #63 bike, was unable to maintain his initial pace, crossing the line in 26th place.
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“It certainly wasn’t the race we were hoping for today. Jakub was doing very well until he was taken out by Ono, so that was really unfortunate. There was nothing he could do, it wasn’t his fault. Before the incident I think it was quite a hard race for him because there was a lot going on around him. His times dropped a lot in the group but then on his own he was doing the same times as the leaders. He really needed to be able to break away from the group because he was so much faster than them. He had the pace to be in the top four or five but he wasn’t able to go with them at the start. This is something that we have to work on and try to improve for the next race.
For Fahmi it was very difficult and not a good race at all. I think he must try to understand himself more and why he cannot do better or ride faster. We will sit down together and work on this and try and find a solution to help him improve.”
#63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin – P26
“This weekend has been one of the hardest in my career. I have struggled a lot with the track since the first practice. We have tried so many things with the bike but still I haven’t felt so good with it. I made a good start but I wasn’t able to keep my pace and other riders passed me in the corners, so it was a very difficult race. It has been an incredibly difficult Grand Prix, so I hope not to have one like this again. The team have been working very hard and already our focus is now on Le Mans. Over the next week we will study the data that we have to find a solution so that we can be competitive again.”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil – DNF
“I am feeling quite disappointed now because I was doing a good job in the race and I know I could have finished in the top ten if the crash hadn’t happened. Ono was so fast on the straight and then didn’t brake soon enough into the corner; as he went down he tagged my front wheel and took me with him. It’s very unfortunate what happened. In the race I felt confident, it was just on the straight where I felt I was losing speed. I had to always make my passes in the corner, which made my race a little harder, so this is something we have to work on for Le Mans. Nevertheless I had a good battle with the other riders in my group and I was fighting hard for sixth position. Overall I’m very happy with the weekend because we have been strong from the start and for sure we made a big step forward.”