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Caponera commences project with Sepang circuit

Caponera commences project with Sepang circuit

Fiorenzo Caponera, the Ongetta Racing boss, has commenced a new project to help bring a Malaysian rider into the 125cc World Championship in 2010.

There were two solid local wildcard appearances over the weekend in the 125cc class at the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix as Elly Ilias and Muhammad Zulfahmi represented the home nation, finishing Sunday’s single cylinder race 16th and 20th respectively.

For Ilias it could be a big step on the road towards more regular Grand Prix appearances after he worked closely with the Ongetta Racing I.S.P.A. team, who may be able to offer him a route into the World Championship in 2010.

The team’s manager, Fiorenzo Caponera, explained to, “We are working in collaboration with Dorna and the Sepang circuit to try and open the doors to Grand Prix racing for these riders. We wanted to select the best talent from the Malaysian national championship and we chose Elly Ilias, giving him the chance to test an Aprilia and make a GP wild card appearance. He worked with Ongetta Racing mechanics but raced under the sponsorship of Air Asia.”

“The idea for our project is for a Malaysian rider to spend the winter training with us in Europe with the objective of full-time World Championship participation next year. We’ve been working with young riders for a long time and this would be a great chance for a rider from Malaysia to gain international recognition,” added the Italian.

Meanwhile, the CEO of the Sepang circuit Razlan Razali commented, “I think with the objective of just purely qualifying this weekend and a bonus of finishing a race and getting some kind of good position we’ve seen that Malaysia has a lot of talent. We need the support and platform for them to go to the international level. As a circuit we’re helping them with that, of course it’s our objective to have them on the grid so that more people will come and support us here.”

“As you can see from other countries around the world, with Spanish and Italian riders, if you have a rider a lot of the locals come and support them and that’s exactly what we’re doing. The last time we had a Malaysian rider was in 2002, so Malaysia is craving its new national hero. This year we finally had two Malaysians in the wildcard for 125cc, and it will hopefully continue with the cooperation of Dorna and other parties.”


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