MotoGP Malaysia: Proving ground

Published on September 12th, 2009

Come October, motorsports fans will be treated to the world’s biggest motorcycle race, and perhaps, the most exciting motor racing event worldwide right here at the Sepang International Circuit – the 2009 Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

What started out in 1949, MotoGP has grown to be the world’s premier motorcycle race which brings top motorcycle manufacturers such as Ducati, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Aprilia and KTM together fused with the likes of Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, just to name a few.

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“You can’t get any bigger than this in terms of two wheels racing, and this is the only such race organised in South East Asia,” said Sepang International Circuit CEO, Razlan Razali.

Malaysia has played host to MotoGP for 19 years, a pact which started in 1991. This year Sepang International Circuit will be the penultimate round of the FIM MotoGP World Championship for 2009; and on this 16th round Malaysia will be the circuit that will have all the elements to the climax of the season. This year the race is sponsored by leading motorcycle oil brand and Ducati Team technical partner, Shell Advance.

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Tanmay Jaswal, Global Marketing Manager for Shell Advance commented, “The Malaysian MotoGP is an exciting annual event for the whole of Asia, and one that Shell Advance is very proud to support. Shell already enjoys a successful technical partnership with Ducati Corse in MotoGP, a close relationship which provides Ducati with cutting edge lubricants and fuels, and allows our technicians to continuously transfer learnings from the racetrack to the road. This title sponsorship provides us with an ideal platform to strengthen our existing MotoGP presence as we seek to communicate with MotoGP fans and our customers in markets across Asia.”

Recently Valentino Rossi rode away with a 30 point advantage in the San Marino race, just two rounds to go before the race reaches Sepang. The point standing leader and reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi was delighted with the win as a response to a DNF in the previous round at the Indianapolis race the week before.

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“I am so happy because this victory is more important than normal, coming after a bad mistake in Indianapolis and especially because my team and I did a great job, from Friday afternoon. It was a perfect weekend, we were always very fast in all the practices and we are always proud of all the fans here in Misano. Thanks to them for all their support.”

The two other upcoming races will be in Portugal and Australia which was won by Jorge Lorenzo (currently second in the championship) and Casey Stoner (currently fourth in the championship) respectively in the last season.

But with Valentino Rossi in awesome form, Sepang Circuit could the stage to crown him as the 2009 world champion so racing fans should not miss this opportunity to watch the world class two wheels motorsports battle at the Sepang International Circuit live!

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“The championship is still wide open and you’ll be able to catch some of the best of the best battles in Sepang,” Razlan said.

Apart from the world famous riders, Malaysians are urged to come and cheer Malaysia’s very own rider in the 125cc class.

One rider, the best of the best, will be chosen from a pool of 16 riders in the Malaysian Wildcard program to race with seasoned riders in that class.

“Although the other riders have almost the whole season behind them, our Wildcard rider have the advantage of racing on homeground and inline with 1 Malaysia we all should support him on race day.”

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), Moto Millia and Hong Leong Yamaha.

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Currently the committee have shortlisted the list down to four hopeful riders, Elly Idzlianizar Ilias, Md. Iskandar Raduan, Mohd. Farid Ahmad and Mohd Zulfahmi Khairuddin.

Apart from the race itself, fans will have a chance to get close and personal with the riders and teams in the various off track programs such as autograph signing sessions with the riders and pit walkabout program.

Various exclusive passes and giveaways will be available to lucky ticket holders from special guided garage tours, taxi rides in a MotoGP official safety car on the race track, seats to race side by side with MotoGP riders in a special gokart race and starting grid passes, a first in the Malaysian MotoGP history.

“Local fans should grab this very exclusive once-in-a-lifetime chance to get the passes and tours as this is the only venue you can have such an opportunity being also the most affordable race on the MotoGP calendar.”

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On top of that, MotoGP fans can expect SIC to be buzzing on the race weekend with once-in-a-lifetime experience programs planned such as concerts by famous Asian artists, children events, food fiesta, bike stunt competition and many more.

Bike fans all over the world are in for an extra treat as Sepang International Circuit is planning to host the Sepang Bike Week on that weekend, where bikers can organize their own barbeque camp and party at the same time.

text & pix: SIC

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