The recent outcome from the Grand Prix of Japan in Motegi on October 11, 2015 had local motorcycle racing fans dancing with glee as the current batch of Malaysian GP riders powered their way to the top five in their respective classes.
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman topped the list when he finished fourth in the Moto2 class followed by Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah in fifth. Zulfahmi Khairuddin also stunned the Moto3 class with yet another fifth place finishing.
Malaysian riders revel in the rain. This is an undeniable fact acknowledged by industry insiders and motorsports fans around the world. Hafizh Syahrin earned his nickname ‘El Pescao’ which means the ‘little fish’ as tribute to his seemingly amazing ability to navigate the wettest of race conditions.
This phenomenon reaches beyond the MotoGP sphere. Even in the regional championships such as the Asia Road RAcing Championship or the Spanish National Championship (CEV), Malaysian riders invariably take the lead whenever a wet race is declared.
The tropical weather in Malaysia has a lot to do with this aspect of the Malaysian riders’ skill sets. Heavy showers are the norm at the equator and almost 50% of the national races are conducted under wet conditions. Azlan Shah, Hafizh Syahrin, and Zulfahmi Khairuddin all trace their racing roots to Cub Prix where rain is often shrugged off.
“If we were to call of races every time it rains, the Cub Prix will end up with perhaps only five rounds on the calendar,” quipped Ron Hogg, Promotions Director of PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship.
“The races will continue as long as visibility is not affected or there is no puddling that could lead to aqua-planing,” he further elaborated.
As a pre-cursor to the Malaysian Grand Prix, Round 8 of the 2015 PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship will take place at the Malaysia Agro Exhibition Park (MAEPS) in Serdang, this October 17 to 18, 2015. The organizers are expecting yet another wet event.
“Unless a storm the likes of what we experienced in Teluk Intan were to happen again, the race will go on,” Ron concluded.