If pre-season tests are an indication, Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin will not be short of confidence for the upcoming season after recording impressive top 10 lap times during the recent Moto3 tests in Jerez and Valencia last month.
The AirAsia-SIC-Ajo rider displayed his maturity and composure at the two tests, consistently posting five top 10 positions in six sessions, only missing out on day two at Jerez after being involved in a crash. The first three sessions at the Valencia test also saw him among the top 10.
“There were people who doubted my abilities to ride a four-stroke machine, but these tests gave me the opportunity to prove that I can handle the new challenges for the upcoming season,” said the 20 year old. “But that doesn’t mean that I can take my foot off the pedal. There’s still a long way to go before the season begins and I have to keep working hard to maintain my performance.”
The Malaysian rider is aiming for an ambitious top 10 position by the end of the season, which he will contest on a factory KTM. “It’s a dream come true for me to finally get my hands on a full factory bike. It is an honour for me to be one of five riders to be given a KTM.”
Team principal, Aki Ajo took pride in Khairuddin’s outstanding improvement since the youngster first came under his wing in 2011. “Fahmi has shown great improvement since he first came to us last year. I am proud of our involvement in Fahmi’s career and delighted to have played a part in providing him a full factory KTM bike this season.”
Sepang International Circuit Chief Executive, Datuk Razlan Razali was delighted with the rider’s encouraging test results, but issued caution before the season start on 8th April in Qatar. “We shouldn’t be over confident with the test results, the real test for Fahmi is when the season starts. I hope that Fahmi will keep focusing and pushing himself towards the goals we have set for him this season. It’s now up to him to deliver the goods and make himself, his family and all Malaysians proud.”
AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, said: “Fahmi has definitely developed and improved tremendously since we started with him in 2009. We will continue supporting his development and we wish him all the best for the 2012 season and hopes that he will make Malaysia proud.”