Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi received a confidence boost ahead of his impending World Superbike (WSBK) wildcard entry as he capped off a perfect weekend in the Terengganu PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship
with another victory on Saturday.
After acing every single practice session in the CP130 class, Zaqhwan earned the right to park his bike on the coveted pole position. However, the 19 year-old rider did not have the best of starts.
Engulfed by the swarm of riders as the lights went out, Zaqhwan found himself slipping down the order, especially when surrounded by PETRONAS Yamaha-CKJ rivals.
The determined youngster was not about to put up the white flag. A masterful display of riding technique and skill saw Zaqhwan powering past Affendi Rosli and Ahmad Afif Amran. By the time Zaqhwan reached the second position, he was more than a second away from leader Ahmad Fazli Sham with the number of laps ticking down.
Undeterred, Zaqhwan ramped up the power and closed down the gap within two laps. A final aggressive move forced Fazli into a mistake, and it was the opening that Zaqhwan had been looking for.
The Givi Honda Yuzy Racing rider in the end completed the gruelling 18-lap race in 12’27.695s while Fazli Sham settled for second and Afif Amran third with 12’30.120s and 12’30.883s respectively.
“It was an incredible race. The Yamaha riders were extremely fast and I had a tough time trying to get ahead of them. But somehow, I managed to plow through their defense and by lap-13 I was already behind Fazli. He lost control of his bike going into turn one and I capitalized on his error. Thanks to Shahrol Yuzy and Givi Honda Yuzy Racin engineers for giving me a great bike today,” said an elated Zaqhwan.
Overflowing with joy, Zaqhwan’s confidence for his wildcard entry in the World Superbike (WSBK) next month was also lifted.
“Winning here (Terengganu) gives me the motivation and confidence to do my best for my WSBK wildcard entry. I am not expecting a podium or anything but I am certain I can leave an impact having spent the past couple of years racing in the Asia Road Racing Championship. I’m really looking forward to it,” added the Banting born rider.
Hauling 50 points from this round, Zaqhwan regains control of the CP130 overall standings followed by rookie, Afif Amran with 49 points and Fazli Sham third, 40 points.
Meanwhile Zaidy Mohd Zaifaizal signaled he is back in business as he rode to his season’s first victory in a dramatic CP115 race that was red-flagged with three laps remaining.
The Motul Yamaha YY Pang rider capitalized on his front row start to pressure Elly Idzlianizar Ilias out of the lead and went on to finish the race in 8’30.402s, 0.310 seconds ahead of Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa with 8’30.712s. Locking out the podium steps was Zaidy’s teammate, Mohd Izzat Zaidi Salehan with 8’31.781s.
Picking up 25 points, Zaidy now sits on top of the CP115 standings with 58 points while Izzat takes second six points adrift. Tengku Amirul who crashed out of the race sits in third with 48 points.
Lastly Khairul Idham Pawi chalked up his second consecutive victory after Muar to push Khairul Ikhwan Ajis down the order in the age-capped WIRA category.
The Kozi Yam Honda Racing rider battled for lead with FELDA PbafB Tech Racing’s Mohd Fairuz Nasir before the latter crashed out in the fourth lap, leaving Khairul to pull away and finish the 12-lap race within 8’41.249s with a 4.413 seconds advantage.
Adding on to Khairul’s joy, teammate Harith Farhan Baharin put on an impressive show to fend off Afiki Supaat of Jetron Apido Team PJM and finish second in 8’45.662s in front of his home crowd while Afiki was forced to be content in third place with 8’47.585s.
Khairul now leads the WIRA standings with 66 points followed by Khairul Ikhwan with 55 points and Harith Farhan third, 49 points.
The fourth round of the 2014 PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship will take place at Stadium Hang Jebat in Malacca this 31 May and 1 June.
1.Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi (Honda) 12’27.695s 2.Ahmad Fazli Sham (Yamaha)
12’30.120s 3.Ahmad Afif Amran (Yamaha) 12’30.883s 4.Ahmad Fazrul Sham
(Honda) 12’32.400s 5.Mohd Fitri Ashraf Razali (Honda) 12’32.851s
1.Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi (Honda) 50 points 2.Ahmad Afif Amran (Yamaha) 49
points 3.Ahmad Fazli Sham (Yamaha) 40 points 4.Mohd Affendi Rosli
(Yamaha) 39 points 5.Norizman Ismail (Honda) 33 points
1.PETRONAS Yamaha CKJ 88 points 2.Givi Yuzy Honda Racing 68 points
3.Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing B 65 points 4.PETRONAS Yamaha
Maju Motor 59 points 5.Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing A 47 points
1.Zaidy Mohd Zaifaizal (Yamaha) 8’30.402s 2.Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa
(Honda) 8’30.712s 3.Mohd Izzat Zaidi Salehan (Yamaha) 8’31.781s 4.Mohd
Syafiq Rosli (Honda) 8’37.130s 5.Ahmad Abdul Kadir (Yamaha) 8’37.454s
1.Zaidy Mohd Zaifaizal (Yamaha) 58 points 2.Mohd Izzat Zaidi Salehan
(Yamaha) 52 points 3.Tengku Amirul Haffiruddin (Yamaha) 48 points
4.Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa (Honda) 43 points 5.Mohd Syafiq Rosli (Honda)
1.Motul Yamaha YY Pang A 100 points 2.Motul Yamaha YY Pang B 82 points
3.Givi Honda Yuzy Racing 54 points 4.M Seki Liberty Honda 44 points
5.PETRONAS Yamaha CKJ 37 points
1.Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda) 8’41.249s 2.Mohd Harith Farhan Baharin
(Honda) 8’45.662s 3.Mohd Afiki Supaat (Yamaha) 8’47.585s 4.Mohd Amirul
Roseafendy (Yamaha) 8’49.612s 5.Mohd Azam Omar (Yamaha) 8’49.823s
1.Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda) 66 points 2.Mohd Khairul Ikhwan Ajis
(Yamaha) 55 points 3.Mohd Harith Farhan Baharin (Honda) 49 points
4.Mohd Afiki Supaat (Yamaha) 43 points 5.Amirul Hakim Mohd Rizal
(Yamaha) 34 points