Batu Kawan race winner, Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi continued his domination over the CP130 field as he obliterated Mohd Zamri Baba’s 40.865s lap record to set a new benchmark in the PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship practice sessions at Stadium Sultan Ibrahim in Muar, Johor today.
The Givi Honda Yuzy Racing rider dominated all three practice sessions with a scorching lap of 40.139s, beating the existing record by 0.726 seconds followed by PETRONAS Yamaha-CKJ duo, Mohd Affendi Rosli and Ahmad Afif Amran with 40.944s and 40.960s respectively.
Rounding up the top five were PETRONAS Yamaha Maju Motor’s Ahmad Fazli Sham and Mohd Adib Rosley of Motul Yamaha YY Pang.
“It feels good to bring forward the momentum we had in Batu Kawan here to Muar. The engineers were spot on with the setup but among other reasons why we could go fast today was because the track has been widen at the first and last turn, allowing for more rolling speed. If not, it would have been very hard to erase the lap record,” said Zaqhwan.
While he admits to being pleased with the current pace, he cautioned a lot of work remains to be done, pointing out that the Yamaha riders were consistent throughout the day and they have been winning at Muar since its introduction in 2012.
Adding on to his fear, Zaqhwan has had bad memories losing out on the SuperPole last season despite posting the quickest practice lap time in the practice.
“I can’t afford to get comfortable with today’s achievements considering the top five riders are only separated by one second. Hence it is very important to master tomorrow’s SuperPole because last year I started from second row and found it very hard to overtake. I don’t intend to repeat the same mistakes,” he said.
Besides the top five, others who qualified for the Saturday’s SuperPole includes Ahmad Fazrul Sham, Mohd Emir Firdaus Hasan, Mohd Zamri Baba, Sasitharen Sukumaran and Mohd Haiekal Akmal Zakaria.
Meanwhile, a late charge proved fruitful for Tengku Amirul Haffiruddin as the Motul Yamaha YY Pang youngster topped the CP115 timesheets with 41.253s.
The Terengganu born rider posted his quickest lap in his ninth tour around the 947 metre track, just 0.029 seconds ahead of 2011 Champion, Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa (Givi Honda Yuzy Racing) who stopped the clock at 41.282s. Zaidy Mohd Zaifaizal on the other hand settled for third best with 41.600s.
Round 1 winner and Tengku Amirul’s teammate, Mohd Izzat Zaidi Salehan came in fifth.
“Last season we struggled a lot with technical issues but this year I think we are in a much better position. Hopefully we can capitalize on this advantage and make YY Pang proud by stepping on the podium again,” said Tengku Amirul who finished second in Batu Kawan.
Lastly Khairul Idham Pawi outpaced his rivals to set the fastest lap in the WIRA category. The Kozi YAM Honda Racing rider timed 42.203s to edge Fairuz Nasir of Felda PbaFB Tech Racing by 0.211 seconds. Completing the top three was Mohd Khairul Ikhwan Ajis of Team Mos Track Pro Yamaha Racing with 42.424s.
1.Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi (Honda) 40.139s 2.Mohd Affendi Rosli (Yamaha) 40.944s 3.Ahmad Afif Amran (Yamaha) 40.960s 4.Ahmad Fazli Sham (Yamaha) 41.100s 5.Mohd Adib Rosley (Yamaha) 41.119s
1.Tengku Amirul Haffiruddin (Yamaha) 41.253s 2.Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa (Honda) 41.282s 3.Zaidy Mohd Zaifaizal (Yamaha) 41.600s 4.Mohd Izzat Zaidi Salehan (Yamaha) 41.674s 5.Mohd Shariffudin Shamsuddin (Yamaha) 41.798s
1.Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda) 42.203s 2.Fairuz Nasir (Yamaha) 42.414s 3.Mohd Khairul Ikhwan Ajis (Yamaha) 42.424s 4.Mohd Afiki Supaat (Yamaha) 42.558s 5.Mohd Harith Farhan Baharin (Honda) 42.747s