SEPANG – The 2015 World Motorcycle Championship is expected to be Malaysian Moto3 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin’s last chance to prove his capability to the Sepang International Circuit (SIC).
Sepang International Circuit (SIC) chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali in issuing the ultimatum for Zulfahmi said the SIC still harboured hope on the rider and the newly launched Drive M7 SIC Racing Team.
“We have sat with him (Zulfahmi) and discussed, this team is for Fahmi (Zulfahmi) and Malaysian motorsport. This is Fahmi’s last chance,” he told reporters after launching Malaysia’s first international racing team, here today.
The 23-year-old rider from Banting, Selangor had an awful 2014 season when riding for Ongetta-AisAsia and saw him finish 20th in the standings after having chalked up two podium finishes in the 2012 season.
Razlan said if Zulfahmi can show an excellent performance, the SIC would not hesitate to invest on him to ride in a higher class.
He said many young riders have been knocking on SIC’s door with splendid performances, hoping to take over the ‘hot seat’ from Zulfahmi.
“Everyone is eyeing his spot. If Fahmi (Zulfahmi) does not improve this year, it will more or less be his final year. In fact, even by mid-season there might be a review.
“If he wants to continue riding in Moto3 after seven years, it is a long time. That is why we want him to do well. If he does well, we will invest and recommend him for the Moto2 class,” he said.
Zulfahmi was on the podium in Sepang back in 2012 when he was riding for Team AirAsia-SIC-Ajo and ended the 2013 season in 10th overall when riding for Redbull KTM Ajo.
In his speech, Razlan said the idea of setting up Malaysia’s own motorcycle team to compete in the world stage was mooted last year but the proposal was shot down by the SIC board in October last year.
“The Board of directors felt that SIC do not have or should not be responsible in managing or running a racing team. The situation has changed and together with Johan (Stigefelt) took the opportunity to plan and take over the existing team from Moto2, and I presented (the proposal) and they were convinced for the second time and gave me a chance to proceed,” he said.
Apart from Zulfahmi, Drive M7 Racing Team will also have Czech Republic rider Jakob Kornfeil, who finished last season in 12 spot when riding for the Calvo Team.
Kornfeil, 21, who has been riding with Team Calvo in the Moto3 since 2007, had been crowned ‘Champion of Red Bull Rookies Cup’ in 2009.
The season opening race will revv-up at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar on March 29. – BERNAMA