Monday, 31 October 2016

Malaysian rider Hafizh finishes 5th at the Malaysian GP Moto2

Hafizh revels in the rain to finish fifth at home Grand Prix


Hafizh Syahrin (left) and Ramdan Rosli acknowledging the crowd after the Moto2 race at the Sepang International Circuit on Sunday. - GLENN GUAN / The Star

SEPANG: Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah lived up to his nickname “pescao” (fish in Spanish) yet again.

The Petronas Raceline Malaysia rider battled his way to a top-five finish in a wet Moto2 race of the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit on Sunday.

The 22-year-old made a superb start – making up seven places from 14th on the grid.

He pushed hard to get into the front group, but was thwarted by Spaniard Alex Marquez and Swiss Thomas Luthi.

Hafizh then went out of the racing line and lost precious time. As a result, he could only stay with the second chasing pack until the end.

Still, it was an impressive performance from Hafizh as he crossed the finish line in 46:15.736 to loud cheers from the home fans.

Hafizh is now ninth in the overall standings with 117 points and he is optimistic that he can defend his top-10 position in the final round in Valencia, Spain, in two weeks’ time.

“My personal target for this home race was to finish in the top five,” said Hafizh.

“I wanted to fight for the podium, but it was hard getting to the front as I had to look out for Marquez and Luthi.

“I’m still happy to get good championship points in my home race. Thanks for the support, Malaysia!”

There was more cheer for Petronas Raceline Malaysia when wildcard Ramdan Rosli finished 12th in the 19-lap race in 46:22.296.

The 20-year-old was delighted to collect four points – his first in the world championship.

“This is the world championship and it's not easy to get points. I can’t be happier than this as the conditions were difficult,” he said.

Local Moto3 hero Khairul Idham Pawi also impressed when he finished in the points for the first time since bagging his second win in Germany in July.

Rookie rider Khairul finished the crash-filled race in eighth place in 29:42.857 and is 17th in the overall standings with 62 points.

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