Indianapolis, United States – Saturday 8th August
Circuit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Circuit Length: 4.2 km
Bike #63 – Zulfahmi Khairuddin
Qualifying: P3; 1’40.811 (DRY) – 17 laps
Bike #84 – Jakub Kornfeil
Qualifying: P16; 1’41.474 (DRY) – 15 laps
Day two at Indianapolis saw a spectacular finish to proceedings with DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin qualifying his #63 KTM machine on the front row for tomorrow’s Grand Prix.
Feeling focussed and confident, the Malaysian rider got straight to work as the morning’s Moto3 practice got underway. Building his pace Fahmi continued to improve throughout, posting his quickest time on his penultimate lap and finishing the session in tenth place.
As the afternoon’s qualifying practice began the 23 year old wasted no time in showing his strength, launching himself into second position. Continuously swapping places within the top fifteen Fahmi relentlessly pushed to the end. In a last lap charge he crossed the line in an outstanding 3rd place, just 0.108s off pole.
Continuing to show good form Jakub Kornfeil looked poised and controlled on board his #84 machine. Immediately getting up to pace the Czech rider set his fastest time of the weekend as qualifying began. Working hard he pushed to improve his time but was unable to take advantage of a slipstream.
Concluding the session in 16th place, Kornfeil remains positive that he has the pace to go with the leaders and fight hard in tomorrow’s race.
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“I’m really happy today with this result, especially for Fahmi and the team. We have been working so hard this year and the results haven’t really been there but we’ve never given up. We are remaining focussed and are continuing to learn all the time with this KTM bike. Today everything came together and not only for one lap. Fahmi did a lot of good lap times from the start and he has proved this weekend that he still has it. This is what we always believed and I’m so pleased he has shown it. Now let’s see for tomorrow; he will continue to work hard as will the team but basically the setup is there as we’ve not changed anything. Also with Jakub it’s been a good weekend; he’s worked hard and he’s been fast. It’s unfortunate that in the qualifying he didn’t get the lap he needed but anyway he has a strong race pace. He is happy with his bike as well and it’s running perfectly, so we’re not going to change anything there either. I just hope for the best tomorrow. Thanks to everybody in the team, all of our sponsors and Razlan and SIC.”
#63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin
“I’m so happy with everything today! This morning we started really well and we finished the practice in tenth position. I was feeling really confident ahead of qualifying and then when we started the session I felt really comfortable on the bike and I was able to go quick straight away. I’m just so pleased with our result today. I have to say a big thanks to the team for continuing to believe in me and especially my crew who have worked so hard. I’m really happy to be starting from the front row tomorrow but for sure we still have to stay focussed and work hard. Tonight we will study the data and see what we can improve. The tyre choice will be very important for the race but I know we have the pace so I’m really looking forward to it. I want to stay with the leaders and battle for a good result. There will definitely be a big fight but I hope to be in it and fighting hard tomorrow.”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil
“From the beginning of the day it has been good. I felt so comfortable on the bike and I knew that I could push. In the first flying lap of qualifying I set my fastest time and I was very happy with this. I used some people to make a slipstream in the back straight and then I was able to outbreak another rider before crossing the start-finish. This was a fast lap and I went straight to third place. In the middle of qualifying we went onto hard tyres to test our settings and I lost a bit of confidence, but in the end we went back onto the mediums. In the last ten minutes I tried to go with Oliveira and we passed everybody on the track. We were pushing but unfortunately after one lap he passed me on the straight and then he didn’t continue the lap, so I had to do it myself. I could not improve the time on my own. There was also a lot of traffic which I got caught up in, so it was difficult to get a clean lap. I was trying to find myself in a good position to make a strong last lap but unfortunately I couldn’t. Although the position is not where I would like to be I am still very happy with the bike and I know I have the pace for tomorrow. The race is what counts and I feel confident. I know some places where I can overtake; I feel strong and I’m really looking forward to the race!”