The Dutch Grand Prix saw an unlucky end for the DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team, with Zulfahmi Khairuddin caught up in a high speed crash and Jakub Kornfeil crossing the line outside the points in 20th.
As race day at Assen got underway luck was not on the side of Zulfahmi Khairuddin. After heading out for morning Warm Up, the Malaysian rider soon encountered a technical issue with his bike. Returning to the box before one flying lap was complete, Khairuddin was forced to sit out of the remainder of the twenty minute session whilst his crew worked relentlessly to fix the problem.
Starting from row ten Khairuddin steadily began to pick away at positions but only five laps in bad luck struck again when Gardner clipped the back wheel of the #63 machine taking him out of the race.
Feeling more confident following a positive morning warm up, Jakub Kornfeil made a good start claiming four places on the opening lap. The 22 year old was looking in good form as he fought his way up to fifteenth place but as he entered the last chicane on lap six, another rider forced him wide. Despite re-joining the fight for eighth place Kornfeil was again caught up in another incident, running off track for a second time. Losing valuable time Kornfeil was unable to progress further than 20th position.
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“Today has not been a good race for us. Both riders made a good start so it’s very unfortunate how it has ended here at Assen. Jakub worked his way up to fifteenth and was in the group fighting for eighth position which was good. Top ten was what we were hoping for and what we expected. Unfortunately on lap six he got pushed into the last corner and ran off the track, losing about four positions there. Then when he was going into turn two another rider came from the outside and didn’t see him, so he had to run off track again losing around seven seconds. This caused him to lose all contact with the group so that was the race over for him because it’s very hard to get back from something like that. I believe if this hadn’t have happened we would have finished with a good result. Fahmi had really bad luck today, starting with a technical issue in warm up and then after making a positive race start, he was taken out by another rider. He’s alright and that’s the most important thing.”
#63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin – DNF
“The start of the race was not so bad and I made up a few positions. I knew I had the pace to catch up, even with Jakub and then the other riders behind me started to make a fight; in the last turn they hit me from behind. There’s nothing really else I can say after that; it’s disappointing because I feel I improved so much with my riding here and I was feeling very positive. I look forward to improving more in Sachsenring because I think now we are in a good place and I know I can continue to progress more on track. I also want to say a big thank you to my crew who worked non-stop to fix my bike after warm up for the race.”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil – P20
“My bike was very good today and I was prepared to battle for a good position. The start was very good and I made progress from the first laps, which I wanted, so I did it. I was in the second group fighting for eighth position, so I knew it was possible to finish well. Then before the last corner unfortunately one rider came in front of me on the brakes very hard and I had to go straight through the chicane onto the grass. I lost a lot of positions here but I didn’t think it was too much of a problem because I was still in the group and there were fifteen laps to go. I was just focussing on building my race again when in corner three I was ran ride again. I went completely out because another rider who went wide did not see me and as I was full gas he moved into my line, I nearly crashed there; I lost all the contact with the group and here is where my race really finished. For sure the result today could have been much better.”