“Five Partnership, Four Riders, Two Trainers, One Goal, 1 Malaysia”

Published on September 21st, 2009

Currently four young hopefuls, Elly Idzlianizar Ilias, Md. Iskandar Raduan, Mohd. Farid Ahmad and Mohd Zulfahmi Khairuddin are working hard to become Malaysia’s next Wildcard entry in the upcoming Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in October at the Sepang International Circuit.

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Former bike racer Shaharol Yuzy, who is our last and former 250cc MotoGP rider himself, is in charge of passing his experience to the four young riders in the Malaysian Wildcard program.

The program started with 16 riders that are currently competing in a few local bike races like the Petronas Sprinta Malaysian Cub Prix Championship and two from the Malaysian Super Series Bikerz Mag 150cc Cup.

According to Shaharol, he is confident that any of the four riders have the same chance in getting into MotoGP 125cc class race as a Wildcard entry.

“They have the skills to ride as they are already racing but what we need to do here is to refine their skills and widen their scope to be able to ride side by side with the other riders,” said Shaharol.

“Racing with the MotoGP riders is a whole different game compared to what these four riders have come across in their racing career here.

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When the MotoGP riders reach the Sepang round they will already be battle hardened as this will be their second last round of 17 circuits this year.”

So far the boys have gone through 10 track sessions with more than 1000kms of riding; some of the things Shaharol is looking at are the rider’s“fast in and fast” out riding skills.

“They are good listeners and they learn fast and we can see the result with faster lap times.”

Shaharol mentioned that the riders also need to experience a full race on the Sepang Circuit as to get accustomed to the demands of racing on it.

Apart from the track sessions, the riders also have their fitness program with a fitness trainer to compliment the training.

He added that initial plans were to send the boys for the second part of the training to Europe but because of some technicalities the program had to be done solely in Sepang.

“The good news is that the boys get to train on the Sepang International Circuit which is where one of them will be racing in the 125cc class. By now they already have clocked more than 1000km which is equivalent to most MotoGP rider’s training time pre season so that rider will know this track like the back of his hand by race time.

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On the other hand they could not train fully on the bike that they might be using on the actual race, an Aprilia run by a full-time GP outfit – Ongetta Team I.S.P.A.”

Shaharol explains that currently the riders are going on with their track time using a Yamaha GP bike, not only the chassis gives a different riding feel but the engine also have a different powerband and getting used to the actual race bike is the final key in getting the boys ready.

“I’m happy that Sepang International Circuit and its partners had managed to organise this program and give Malaysian an opportunity to compete in the MotoGP. This is a massive achievement in our motorsports history, such program should have been organised a long time ago to inspire Malaysian riders to perform beyond their capabilities.”

The Wildcard is a collaboration of a few parties including Sepang International Circuit (SIC) and its partners in motorsports – Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM), Automobile Association Malaysia (AAM), Two Wheels Motor Racing (TWMR) and Moto Millia.

text & pix: SIC

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