HAFIZH Syahrin Abdullah came in 23rd fastest in the Moto2 opening practice of the Malaysian Grand Prix, posting his quickest lap in 2â€™09.340s after he struggled with suspension issues at the Sepang Circuit on Friday.
The PETRONAS Raceline Malaysia riderâ€™s quickest time was taken from the first practice session after he failed to improve his time in the evening practice that took place under slightly damp conditions.
Setting the pace was Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) with 2â€™07.729s followed by Frenchman, Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham) and Moto2 rookie of the year, Maverick Vinales (Panigas Amarillas HP40) completed the top three with 2â€™08.048s and 2â€™08.204s respectively.
â€œTo be honest, we expected something better,â€ said Hafizh.
â€œWe had an okay start in FP1 but in FP2 we struggled to get a good setup with the suspension. By right we should have an advantage riding under wet conditions at our home track but we ended up being more than 1.5 seconds behind Rabat,â€ he added.
Talking about his expectations for Saturdayâ€™s qualifying, Hafizh commented, â€œWe have our work cut out for us and we will need to push really hard before the qualifying tomorrow. We need to secure a start position with the top-15 so I can fight with the front group.â€
Meanwhile Mohd Ramdan Rosli kicked off his Moto3 wildcard entry coming in 29th quickest.
The PETRONAS AHM Malaysia rider posted his quickest lap in 2â€™16.370s in FP2 around the Sepang Circuit, 0.799 seconds quicker than his best time in FP1.
Topping the lightweight timesheets was was Niccolo Antonelli of Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 with 2â€™13.583s followed by Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team) and Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) with 2â€™13.599s and 2â€™13.604s respectively.
â€œIt was overwhelming – the Moto3 World Championship is far more competitive compared to the Spanish Championship and the grid is bigger. But I am under no pressure because we are here to just learn,â€ said the 19-year old Ramdan.
Reflecting on his first practice run today, Ramdan commented, â€œThis being my first wildcard entry, naturally we had some issues with the bike and I am still recovering from injuries sustained during the test. But overall we had a positive outing because the bike improved a lot from FP1 to FP2. Hopefully the team can develop the bike further before the qualifying where we target a top-20 position.â€
1.Esteve Rabat (SPA) 2â€™07.729s
2.Johann Zarco (FRA) 2â€™08.048s
3.Maverick Vinales (SPA) 2â€™08.204s
4.Thomas Luthi (SWI) 2â€™08.287s
5.Sandro Cortese (GER) 2â€™08.324s
23.Hafizh Syahrin (MAS) 2â€™09.340s
1.Niccolo Antonelli (ITA) 2â€™13.583s
2.Jakub Kornfeil (CZE) 2â€™13.599s
3.Alex Marquez (SPA) 2â€™13.604s
4.Jack Miller (AUS) 2â€™13.610s
5.Efren Vasquez (SPA) 2â€™13.746s
29.Ramdan Rosli (MAS) 2â€™16.370s