MOHD Zaqhwan Zaidi excelled again as he set a scorching pace for Givi Honda Yuzy Racing in the opening practice for Round 9 of the PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship in Jempol, Negeri Sembilan on Saturday.
The runaway championship leader who needs to finish second or win tomorrowâ€™s race to clinch the CP130 title covered the newly resurfaced 1.104 kilometre track in 49.853s ahead of Mohd Iskandar Raduan (Yamalube AHM) who posted his quickest lap in 50.533s.
Ahmad Afif Amran (PETRONAS Yamaha CKJ) clocked in third with 50.541s while a fully recovered Mohd Zamri Baba (Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing) and Mohd Affendi Rosli rounded up top five in 50.564s and 50.753s respectively.
â€œWe had a good run and the engineers did a great job with the bike. But todayâ€™s outing was quite challenging because the tarmac was still slippery from the recent resurfacing job, causing a lot of crashes in the first two practice sessions,â€ said Zaqhwan.
The 19-year old who has a 32-point advantage over closest contender, Norizman Ismail went on to add, â€œThis however will not dampen my spirits to win the CP130 crown tomorrow. Of course it will be risky given current track conditions so my best bet is to play it safe. Hopefully I can finish ahead of Norizman in the qualifying and final but if things do not work out, we will have to wait until the final round in Kedah to see who deserves to be called a champion.”
Meanwhile Elly Idzlianizar Ilias surprised his rivals when he became the only rider to dip under 50 seconds in the CP115 timesheets.
The M-Seki Liberty Honda rider posted the quickest lap in 50.579s followed by Luqman Shakiemi Hakim (elf Koyoko KC Racing) with 51.066s and Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa (Givi Honda Yuzy Racing) third, 51.434s.
Newly-crowned WIRA overall champion, Khairul Idham Pawi dominated the WIRA practice session with 51.031s ahead of Mohd Afiki Supaat (Jetron Apido Team PJM) and Harith Farhan Baharin with 51.141s and 51.499s respectively.
1.Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi (Honda) 49.853s 2.Mohd Iskandar Raduan (Yamaha) 50.533s 3.Ahmad Afif Amran (Yamaha) 50.541s 4.Mohd Zamri Baba (Honda) 50.564s 5.Mohd Affendi Rosli (Yamaha) 50.753s
1.Elly Idzlianizar Ilias (Honda) 50.579s 2.Luqman Shakiemi Hakim (Yamaha) 51.066s 3.Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa (Honda) 51.434s 4.Mohd Izzat Zaidi Salehan (Yamaha) 51.708s 5.Mohd Fareez Afeez (Yamaha) 51.904s
1.Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda) 51.031s 2.Afiki Supaat (Yamaha) 51.141s 3.Harith Farhan Baharin (Honda) 51.499s 4.Saiful Azhary Muhamad (Honda) 51.543s 5.Azam Omar (Yamaha) 51.914s