Zulfahmi ready for 2011 with AirAsia-SIC-AJO Team

Published on January 23rd, 2011

It seems that everyone is readying up for 2011 as racing seasons start to build some pressure. Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Malaysia’s single representative in the MotoGP world championships, will be more prepared to battle the next GP125 season with Ajo Motorsport joining in with AirAsia-SIC team.

Supported by Ongetta I.S.P.A Racing Team in his debut season last year, the 19-year old Malaysian finished 24th in the overall standings; with four world championship points that he collected through four 15th placings at Catalunya, Sachsenring, Brno and at the Portuguese Grand Prix in Estoril.

Ajo Motorsports was responsible on propelling Marc Marquez to his first world crown last season, and this time around will be taking Zulfahmi under their wings to prepare him for the world championship. They are targeting a top 15 overall finish for the world championship.

“That’s the target that we have set for Zulfahmi and Ajo Motorsports for 2011. For us at SIC and AirAsia, this is indeed a major step for us in our efforts to take Malaysian riders at the top of the world stage and promoting the love for motorsports among Malaysians; wooing others especially the younger generation to pick up the sports.

In this business, we need heroes to inspire others. We aim to make Fahmi as the Malaysian hero. To do that, we need to ensure Fahmi scores good results at the world stage. To target those kinds of result, we need to ensure that he is well equipped with the necessary tools.” said SIC Chief Executive Officer Datuk Ahmad Razlan Ahmad Razali, who was joined by AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes at the media launch of the AirAsia Sepang International Circuit Ajo Motorsports Racing Team at the circuit.

Also present at the ceremony was Aki Ajo, the team owner of Ajo Motorsports, who said that he looking forward to manage his first ever Asian rider in Zulfahmi.

Zulfahmi Khairuddin

Zulfahmi said: “I am really looking forward to the new season. I am very excited to work with Ajo Motorsports and the team, which was truly sensational last year in helping Marc Marquez to win the world title.

“2011 will be a different season for me. Last year, I have no knowledge on any of the racing tracks and could only learn them on Friday’s free practice. After one year, I now have that knowledge and that necessary experience to challenge the other riders better,” said Zulfahmi, who first competed in a GP as a wildcard rider at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2009 where he finished in 20th place.

In his speech, Datuk Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes said: “AirAsia’s association with MotoGP, Fahmi and Team AirAsia Sepang International Circuit is part of our contribution to develop more talent, more of our stars, our own content and our own heroes. We are proud to be a part of this wonderful initiative to provide a platform for Fahmi, who dreamt the impossible and is now part of Ajo Motosports, one of the leading teams in MotoGP.

“Aside from the creative activation, digital and social media campaigns synonymous with AirAsia, the association with one of the leading MotoGP teams also give us the opportunity to tap into a wider consumer base and allow us to market the AirAsia brand, promote routes and network of services across ASEAN.

“Sponsoring not only a Malaysian rider but being involved in a great team perfectly compliment our Title Sponsorship of the AirAsia MotoGP in Silverstone UK, and we are excited about this year’s campaign and opportunity for more people to experience the thrills of MotoGP through AirAsia,” added Fernandes.

Zulfahmi’s new season starts in mid February with the first of the pre-season test which would be held in Spain from February 10 to 12. His first race for the new season would be in Losail at the Qatar Grand Prix on March 20.

words: SIC & Syawal Ahmad  pix: Syawal Ahmad

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