Indianapolis disappoints Zulfahmi as he endures another DNF

Published on August 30th, 2010

Malaysian MotoGP 125cc rider Mohd Zulfahmi Khairuddin was forced to endure his second DNF of the season after losing the battle with the rough tracks of the Indianapolis circuit. The disappointed Team Air Asia-Sepang International Circuit rider had to put a stop to his race after battling with several near-crashes on the uneven and slippery circuit track.

“The track was quite bad, it was very bumpy and slippery. There wasn’t enough grip and many riders had crashed. I had several close-calls too, but Alhamdulillah, I didn’t crash,” said the 18-year old rider when contacted today.

The weekend did not begin well for him as he had to battle with some mechanical glitches with the bike on Friday. Though the problem was fixed and he managed to finish at the 23rd position in the qualifying round, the race itself was another matter altogether.

“During the race, I tried to do the best riding that I could because I had started somewhere in the back position. I managed to overtake two, three riders but when I tried to push harder, the bike started sliding too much and I almost crashed a few times,” said Zulfahmi.

“I feel really bad for the team because they had worked so hard, this wasn’t how the way I wanted to finish the race. But I am confident that I will be better at the Misano Circuit.”

The young rider was not the only one who had troubles with the track, said Sepang International Circuit Chief Executive Officer, Razlan Razali.

“Many other riders, including the top ones such as (Marc) Marquez and (Bradley) Smith had crashed during the race,” he said.

“Zulfahmi had managed to climb up to the 19th position from his 23rd position on the starting grid when he had to pull out of the race. From his timing and the position he gained, we know he tried his best. This is racing. He needs both the experience and lady luck on his side. He will now have to focus on San Marino’s Grand Prix next weekend,” said Razlan.

The team’s technical director, Alessandro Tognelli said, “I suspect that an uneven bumpy surface like this, put to Zulfahmi- who is a beginner – some additional problems. I can understand it, and I’m not worried: we will see him again at his standard in Misano.”

AirAsia Group CEO Dato’ Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes said, “It was a very difficult race for Fahmi, given the volatile condition of the track. It was unfortunate that he did not finish the race, but nevertheless it was good for him to be out there at Indianapolis Circuit and experience the track, as it’ll certainly provide him with invaluable knowledge in judging track conditions and providing better input for bike set up for upcoming races. He shouldn’t feel disappointed about the DNF as we all know that he performed at his best. I wish him all the best for the next race in San Marino.”

words & pix: Team Air Asia-Sepang International Circuit

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