ZULFAHMI HAPPY WITH QUALIFYING AT QATAR GRAND PRIX

Published on March 21st, 2011

Malaysian GP rider Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin will began his MotoGP 125 World Championship challenge from the sixth row on 17th place at the season-opener Qatar Grand Prix, which has given the 19-year old AirAsia SIC AJO Racing rider a good feeling for the new season.

“I am happy with the Saturday´s position and extremely happy how the riding is already at so good and stable level. We have changed my riding style in practice completely from the previous one,” Zulfahmi said in a statement issued by his team at Losail International Circuit.

The statement added that the 19-year old Malaysian, who has switched to a Derbi machine for his second season in the world championship, was developing well with the team.

“Khairuddin learns more about world championship series session by session. He has developed significantly,” added the statement from Ajo Motorsports, which is also managing four other riders that included Efren Vazquez of Spain, who finished third fastest in qualifying.

The session was topped by 2010 vice-champion Nico Terol of Team Bankia Aspar, who clocked a brilliant time of 2 minutes 6.605 seconds around the Losail track. Vazquez was 1.046 seconds behind Terol while Zulfahmi was 3.556 seconds behind to give the Malaysian 17th spot on the starting grid.

The race would be held later today under the floodlights of Losail International Circuit.

Commenting on his qualifyinig run, Vazquez said: “In the end of the session there was quite much traffic at the track and at that point I was able to get only one fast lap. But I am really happy for this position. I have a good feeling for riding”.

Team leader Aki Ajo was also happy with the Thursday´s outcome.

“There is still a lot work to do but already this weekend has shown that the development of riders and the direction where both teams are going is absolutely the right one,” said Ajo, who helped young Spaniard Marc Marques to his first world crown last year.

In its official media release, motogp.com wrote:

Nicolas Terol (Bankia Aspar) took pole position for the opening round of the 2011 125cc World Championship, after leading every practice session of the weekend at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar.

In the forty minute qualifying practice, Nicolas Terol (Bankia Aspar) snatched the fastest time of 2’06.605 after a battle with German rider Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany) who ended up second with a margin of just 0.090 separating the two.

The new format for 2011 means three riders per row on the grid instead of four, so the front row is completed by Efrén Vázquez (Ajo Motorsport) who finished 1.046 behind the Bankia Aspar rider.

With the warmest conditions so far of the weekend, Sergio Gadea (PEV-Blusens-SMX Paris Hilton) was fourth quickest, ahead of Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) and Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport). Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) was seventh fastest and was the last rider to achieve a lap time within two seconds of the pole sitter.

Completing the top ten were Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica), rookie Maverick Viñales (PEV-Blusens-SMX Paris Hilton) and Luis Salom (RW Racing GP). The latter finishing 2.726 behind Terol.

Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) was the top British rider recording the 13th quickest time. Danny Webb (Mahindra Racing) will start in 23rd place on the grid, behind his compatriot Taylor Mackenzie (Phonica Racing) who will start 20th. Harry Stafford (Ongetta-Centro Seta) rode with a fractured hand after his crash in FP3 yesterday and his luck didn’t improve after his radiator burst which cost him track time. However he managed to qualify within the 107% rule in 28th.

Sarath Kumar (WTR-Ten10 Racing) the first full time Indian rider just missed the cut off for the 107% qualifying rule.

MotoGP-series 125 cc Qualifying Practice Classification:

1. Nicolas Terol Spain, Bankia Aspar Team Aprilia 2.06,605

2. Sandro Cortese Germany, Intact-Racing Team Germany Aprilia + 0,090

3. Efren Vazquez Spain, Avant-AirAsia-Ajo Derbi + 1,046

4. Sergio Gadea Spain, Pev-Blusens-SMX-Paris Hilton Aprilia + 1,252

5. Hector Faubel Spain, Bankia Aspar Team Aprilia + 1,457

6. Jonas Folger Spain, Red Bull Ajo Motorsport Aprilia + 1,693

7. Johann Zarzo France, Avant-AirAsia-Ajo Derbi + 1,977

8. Alberto Moncayo Spain, Andalucia Banca Civica Aprilia + 2,078

13. Danny Kent Great Britain, Red Bull Ajo Motorsport Aprilia + 3,100

16. Niklas Ajo Finland, TT Motion Events Racing Aprilia + 3,486

17. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Malaysia, AirAsia-Sic-Ajo Derbi + 3,556

For more information, log on to MotoGP official website at motogp

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