KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian Moto2 rider, Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah enjoyed a memorable start to the 2016 World Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) season by finsihing fourth at the Qatar Grand Prix yesterday.
The Petronas Raceline Malaysia rider qualified 16th but was promoted to 15th on the starting grid after Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri of Forward Team forfeited the race after having sustained injuries in a heavy crash during qualifying.
Hafizh had to push the limits to muscle his way through the field and his hard work paid off when he caught up with the leading pack by the fifth lap after six riders were given ride-through penalties for having jumpstarted the race.
They were Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport); Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2); Marcel Schrotter (AGR Team); Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40); Robin Mulhauser (CarXpert Interwetten) and Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia).
Hafizh eventually crossed fifth at the finish line, but when second-placed Franco Morbidelli of Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS was given a penalty which relegated the Italian down to seventh, Hafizh was promoted to fourth placing.
Hafizh earned 13 points on his first race this season.
“I had tried hard and pushed all the way. About four laps to go, my right hand went numb and I could not feel anything. It was difficult to maintain the same lap time towards to the end but I tried my best to maintain my position.
“I am thankful things worked out well and I will definitely give my best for the whole season,” said Hafizh in a statement here, today.
Thomas Luthi of Garage Plus Interwetten team capitalized on his experience at the Losail International Circuit to secure a well-earned victory in 40:14.293s ahead of Luis Salom and Simone Corsi.
Salom of SAG Team finished in second place after clocking 40:23.903s while Corsi of Speed Up Racing team was in third with a time of 40:23.958s. – BERNAMA