Zulfahmi Khairuddin

Hafizh Syahrin Now Main Candidate For Tech 3 MotoGP Seat As Zulfahmi Khairuddin Confirmed In His Moto2 Ride

The chances of MotoGP getting its first ever Malaysian rider are rising exponentially. It is looking ever more likely that Hafizh Syahrin, currently signed to the Petronas Sprinta Racing Team in Moto2, will move up to MotoGP and take over the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha seat vacated by Jonas Folger due to illness.

Rumors that Syahrin was a candidate to replace Folger first emerged after the opening MotoGP test of the 2018 season in Sepang, where a range of names were being bandied about. Few people were mentioning Syahrin, however, until MCN published a story linking the Malaysian rider to the team.

Since Saturday, things have moved into a higher gear. Today, the Petronas Sprinta Racing Team confirmed that Zulfahmi Khairuddin will be replacing Syahrin on the Kalex Moto2 machine the team will be fielding in 2018. At the same time, Syahrin confirmed in an Instagram post that he will be leaving the team to ride elsewhere.

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Red Bull Press Release: Interview With Zulfahmi Khairuddin - "Malaysians Are Watching MotoGP"

The Red Bull KTM team is following the trail blazed by the Repsol Media Service by supplying press release interviews with their riders. Today is the turn of young Malaysian rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who is racing in Moto3 with the Red Bull KTM team. Khairuddin has been making steady progress since ascending to the Grand Prix paddock, impressing many in 2012 by scoring a pole position and two podiums, his first podium coming at Sepang in front of an ecstatic home crowd.

Khairuddin is at the forefront of a move eastward for motorcycle racing, with increasing numbers of riders entering the series from the region. In the interview, the young Malaysian addressed the growing popularity of motorcycle racing in Southeast Asia, and talks about the challenges he faces coming from the region, among other subjects. A glimpse into the future, perhaps?

Below is the interview, issued as a press release:


"Malaysian people are starting to watch all the races on TV, even the rounds shown in the early hours.”

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Malaysia rider preparing for fourth World Championship season.

25/02/13

After the recent test at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain, Zulfahmi Khairuddin is excited about the upcoming season in Moto3. The young Malaysian rider is working hard alongside teammates Luis Salom and Arthur Sissis, working towards being in the best possible shape for the Qatar Grand Prix.

Are you nervous about the start of the season?

"I can’t wait to start. To be honest, this year the bike has quite surprised me, because it has improved a lot compared to last year. Anyway, there's always plenty to do before the season gets underway."

This will be your fourth season. What is your aim?

"I hope to finish all the races this year and fight for a final position that is better than last year’s."

What are the differences between the KTM this year and that from last year?

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2012 Sepang MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Championships, Red Flags, Rulebooks, And Riders On A Roll

The Grand Prix Circus came to Sepang with three titles in the balance. Only one of them got wrapped up on Sunday, though, tropical rainstorms throwing a spanner into the works of the other two, but generating some fascinating racing. The fans had one fantastic dry race, one fantastic wet race, and a processional MotoGP race that looked much the same as it would have had it been dry. There was a packed house - over 77,000 people crowded into the circuit, a highly respectable number for a flyaway round - cheering on local heroes, there was confusion over the rules, and there were a lot of new faces on the podium. There was also a much better balance of nationalities on the podium: where in previous races, the Spanish national anthem has been played three times on a Sunday, at Sepang, it was only heard once. Most of all, though, the Moto2 and MotoGP races ran in the wet would be determined by the timing of the red flags, with Race Direction's decisions on safety also having an outcome on the results of the races, and in the case of MotoGP, possibly implications for the championship.

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2012 Sepang MotoGP Saturday Round Up: MotoGP's Future In The East, Honda's Chatter, And The Chances Of Rain

This year's Malaysian round of the MotoGP series has offered a glimpse of the future, for those with an interest in seeing it. While the series is locked in a series of arguments over the future of the technical regulations, the massive economic problems in its key television markets, and the Spanish domination of the sport in all classes, Sepang pointed the way forward, and that way is definitely east.

It starts with the crowds. Where crowd numbers have been falling almost everywhere at the European rounds, Sepang is seeing record attendances this weekend. Grandstand tickets are selling out fast, and despite the rain, fans are turning up in large numbers. How much those numbers are being inflated by Australians flocking to the circuits they can fly to affordably to see Casey Stoner ride the last few races of his career is uncertain, but that they should be packing the grandstands in Malaysia seems unlikely. There are also plenty of local fans, coming to see riders from the region threaten the top of the timesheets for the first time in history, and not just make up the numbers at the rear.

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