Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi bounced back from a devastating race in Muar as the Givi Honda Yuzy Racing rider upstaged fellow CP130 rivals to set a new lap record in the Terengganu PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship opening practice on Friday.
Zaqhwan who was forced to retire from the previous leg due to a wrecked engine proved untouchable as he became the sole rider to dip under the 40-second barrier, setting the Stadium Sultan Mizan Gong Badak track ablaze with 40.432s.
Not only did Zaqhwan effectively erase last year’s 40.909s lap record, his blistering pace in Terengganu also marked the Honda man’s third consecutive time dominating the practice sessions since the opening round in Batu Kawan, Penang last month.
Muar podium finishers, Ahmad Fazli Sham of PETRONAS Yamaha Maju Motor and Mohd Affendi Rosli of PETRONAS Yamaha-CKJ trailed their Honda competitor with 41.262s and 41.308s respectively.
“I’m glad to see we still have a strong pace even after the mishaps in Muar. The engineers did a solid job bringing up the bike back to par,” said Zaqhwan who sits in fourth overall in the CP130 standings with 25 points.
“Based on our run today, I feel confident for the SuperPole and race tomorrow because the bike feels really fast and durable. I have yet to win here (Terengganu) so hopefully we can change that,” he added.
Mohd Zamri Baba who was feeling a bit under the weather came in fourth fastest with 41.365s while Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing teammate, Norizman Ismail rounded up the top five with 41.465s.
Besides the top five, others who qualified for Sunday’s SuperPole includes Mohd Fitri Ashraf Razali, Ahmad Fazrul Sham, Ahmad Afif Amran, Mohd Emir Firdaus Hasan and Mohd Adib Rosley.
Meanwhile Tengku Amirul Haffiruddin of Motul Yamaha YY Pang posted the quickest lap in the CP115 category.
The Terengganu born rider looking to impress his home crowd was certainly on the right path as he logged an impressive 41.551s to lead the intermediate timesheets ahead of Elly Idzlianizar Ilias of M Seki Liberty Honda and Mohd Izzat Zaidi Salehan who timed 41.626s and 41.687s respectively.
“Racing in front of family and friends gives me the motivation to win here in Terengganu. I hope we can keep the momentum rolling for the Shoot-out and race tomorrow. It would make a great follow-up to my podium finish in Batu Kawan and my recent victory in Muar,” said Tengku Amirul.
Lastly Mohd Afiki Supaat surprised the paddock as the Jetron Apido Team PJM rider outpaced usual frontrunners to clock in the quickest lap time in the age-capped WIRA.
Afiki who claimed his career’s first podium in Muar last month timed 42.446s, 0.094 seconds ahead of Kozi Yam Honda Racing’s Mohd Harith Farhan Baharin and 0.121 seconds ahead of FELDA PbaFb Tech Racing’s Fairuz Nasir.
Completing the top five were Mohd Khairul Ikhwan Ajis and Muar WIRA winner, Khairul Idham Pawi.
1.Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi (Honda) 40.432s 2.Ahmad Fazli Sham (Yamaha) 41.262s 3.Mohd Affendi Rosli (Yamaha) 41.303s 4.Mohd Zamri Baba (Honda) 41.365s 5.Norizman Ismail (Honda) 41.465s
1.Tengku Amirul Haffiruddin (Yamaha) 41.551s 2.Elly Idzlianizar Ilias (Honda) 41.626s 3.Mohd Izzat Zaidi Salehan (Yamaha) 41.687s 4.Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa (Honda) 41.856s 5.Zaidy Mohd Zaifaizal (Yamaha) 41.909s
1.Mohd Afiki Supaat (Yamaha) 42.446s 2.Mohd Harith Farhan Baharin (Honda) 42.540s 3.Fairuz Nasir (Yamaha) 42.567s 4.Mohd Khairul Ikhwan Ajis (Yamaha) 42.722s 5.Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda) 42.909s