MOTORCYCLING: Zulfahmi down in the dumps

Having struggled through qualifying, managing only 20th on the grid for the start at Silverstone, otherwise one of the 21-year-old Red Bull-KTM Ajo rider's favourite circuits, the race this time didn't provide any change to his fortunes.

"On the warm-up lap I felt something strange with the bike on the last corner and when I took my place on the grid, the engine ceased," said Zulfahmi.

"I tried to start the bike again by pushing it but I couldn't so I had to enter the pitlane to start it with the starter and begin the race from there.

"I tried to catch up, but from so far behind it was very hard work. In any case, it wasn't a good race because I wasn't able to reach the front group. We have to move on and focus on Misano, where I hope everything goes well."

While Zulfahmi was left cursing his luck, Spanish teammate Luis Salom bagged yet another victory ahead of compatriots Alex Rins and Alex Marquez to consolidate his lead atop the championship with 233 points.

Zulfahmi's woes will be put to the test in the Malaysian Grand Prix where compatriot Amirul Hafiz Mohd Azmi will be competing as a wildcard in the Moto3 class.

Zulfahmi has been warned by his management at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) that his spot in the World Championship is under threat if his performances don't improve.

Having finished seventh in the Moto3 championship last year, Zulfahmi's fourth season in the championship, the first as a main rider with the Red Bull-KTM-Ajo team this year was expected to be a title challenging one from the start.

Zulfahmi's hopes of recovery at the San Marino Grand Prix in Misano will be helped slightly by the arrival of another Malaysian Azlan Shah Kamarulzaman on the World Championship scene.

Azlan Shah will graduate from the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Supersports 600cc class right into the Moto2 World Championship with the Honda Team Asia, beginning his campaign in San Marino.

Azlan Shah will be only the third Malaysian to compete as a full-fledged World Motorcycle Championship rider after Shahrol Yuzy Ahmad Zaini and Zulfahmi.

*** Sumber dari New Straits Times

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