Malaysian rider achieves podium finish at San Marino GP

KUALA LUMPUR, 11 Sept 2017: 

National Moto2 rider Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah put up a superb performance by finishing in third place in the Moto2 category of the San Marino Grand Prix at the Misano World Circuit in Italy yesterday.

The 23-year-old Petronas Raceline Malaysia rider clocked 51 minutes:47.584 seconds in the soaking condition at the circuit involving a 26-lap race.

Two Swiss riders – Dominique Aegerter of Kiefer Racing and Thomas Luthi of CarXpert Interwetten –  claimed the top two finish, with Aegerter posting a time of 51 minutes:39.709 seconds and Luthi just adrift by 1.400 seconds.

Another Malaysian rider, Khairul Idham Pawi of Idemitsu Honda Team got his best ever result this season by finishing in ninth place out of 16 riders after trailing by 1 minute:01.495 seconds behind Aegerter.

Hafizh Syahrin is happy and grateful for his podium finish, his second after coming in third at the Sepang International Circuit in 2012.

“In am grateful to Allah for this achievement. My thanks to the technical crew who have worked very hard this week that I’ve extended Malaysia’s success as overall champions in the recent 2017 SEA Games to this race today.

“I’ve proven that I could achieve success like other national athletes. My thanks to my family, fans and friends too, as well as my manager who have given me a lot of support all this while,” said the Selangor-born.

With his third-place win at the Italian circuit, Hafizh Syahrin collected 16 points that put him in 10th place overall in the Moto2 category, with 66 points after 13 races this season.

Marc Marquez seized the lead on the last lap to win a soaking San Marino GP for Honda and pulled level at the top of the overall standings with works Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso.

Italian Danilo Petrucci, who led for much of the race at Misano’s Marco Simoncelli circuit on Italy’s Adriatic coast, had to settle for second on a non-works Ducati with compatriot Dovizioso a distant third.

Marquez and Dovizioso are now tied on 199 points with Spaniard Maverick Vinales, who finished fourth for Yamaha, third on 183.

The top two have both won four races but Marquez has more second places.

Vinales had started on pole position and was the sole works Yamaha rider in the race after Italian Valentino Rossi, who is fourth in the championship on 157 points, broke his leg in training last week.

However it was fellow-Spaniard and triple MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo who made a lightning start to take the lead on the opening lap for Ducati.

Lorenzo pulled away but crashed on the seventh of 28 laps, flipping off the bike at turn six and handing the lead to Petrucci.

The Italian, who has yet to win a race in the top category, then led the next 20 on his Pramac Ducati with Marquez closing in and biding his time before making the move at the start of the last lap.

“In rainy conditions you never know but I was trying to control all the race, trying to control myself because I was able to be a little bit faster but I said ‘you must be patient’,” said Marquez.

“For a moment I thought of staying in second position. Then on the last lap I said ‘I try’. This championship is really tight and five points can be a lot in the end.”

“After Silverstone this victory is really important for myself and the team,” added the 24-year-old, who retired with a blown engine in the previous round in Britain. His last lap was also the fastest of the race.

Dovizioso, who would have been the oldest rider to win three races in a row since Australian Mick Doohan in 1998 had he continued his run of success from Austria and Silverstone, said he was happy with a first podium at Misano.

“I was there, but I wasn’t feeling so good on the bike so the risk was too high. Everybody almost crashed today,” he said.

“It was a very difficult weekend but we are there and did another podium in a strange and difficult moment.”

– Agencies

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