Moto2 wildcard, Mohd Zamri Baba's efforts proved to be fruitful in perhaps the most important race of his career in the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) here at the Sepang International Circuit to today.
The PETRONAS SIC TWMR Malaysia ace exceeded everyone expectations as he completed the 19-lap race in a total time of 41:46.031s to finish the race in 22nd spot out of 39 riders in a hard fought race. In addition to that, Zamri set the fastest lap of 2:11.175s in the second last lap of the race.
Having started 31st position on the grid, Zamri who was not affected by yesterday's crash made his way up the field slowly. In the first lap he ranked 33rd and drop to 35th position in the following lap but he did not give up and was determined to improve on his placing. From lap 3 onwards, he gradually moved up and managed to cross the finish line in a remarkable 22nd position.
Satisfied with his results, Zamri commented, "I am so happy to have finished the race with the middle group because it was a very tough race. The riders were on a different level altogether- superior on so many levels. They were faster and better and it was a great experience to compete with them!" said the Klang born rider.
The 27-year old rider went on to evaluate the race and said, "Compared to the past two days, today I feel more comfortable on the Moriwaki machine. The race kicked off smoothly and there were a few riders with me. While pushing I watched and learned from their riding skills and this allowed me to understand the Moriwaki machine better. All in all, today was a great day for me."
Being the humble person that he is, Zamri did not forget to thank all the parties who have played a role in making the Moto2 wildcard agenda possible. "I am truly grateful to the sponsors for giving me their trust to ride in Moto2. Without everybody's support and hard work none of this would have been possible and I hope to be given such an opportunity again in the future," said an elated Zamri.
PETRONAS SIC TWMR Malaysia team principal, Ron Hogg said Zamri's result from today is a clear indication Malaysian riders are heading towards the right direction. "Zamri did a very good job today and him finishing 22nd proves Malaysia is not short of talent. This shows we are on the right path. All we need to do now is plan everything carefully for the years to come to put more Malaysian riders in the World Championship."
Meanwhile, Muhd Zulfahmi Khairuddin was disappointed to have concluded his first home-race since his 125cc MotoGP career started empty handed.
It was an intense home battle for the 19 years old who started from second last row. However, this did not deter his racing spirit as he fought hard from 22nd position in the first five laps before moving up to complete the 18 lap race 16th within 40:58.581s.
He assessed his home race and commented, "I did not take off smoothly but I continued pushing at the same time trying to keep a consistent lap time. But I did not feel comfortable with the bike today after yesterday's crash."
Amidst feeling a bit down, Fahmi is grateful he did not crash and extended his thanks to local fans for showing their support.