Technical glitches continue to bug Hafizh


KUALA LUMPUR – National Moto2 rider Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah (picture) has admitted that technical problems with his machine have affected his performance in this season’s campaign.

The NTS RW Racing team rider had previously shown a marked improvement when he finished ninth at the Italian Grand Prix (GP) at the Mugello Circuit on May 30.

But fast forward to last weekend (June 27), he again faced engine problems in the Dutch GP at the Assen Circuit and ended up in 23rd spot.

“After the race in Mugello, my machine encountered unavoidable technical problems at the German GP (June 20) and at Assen. I am not satisfied with my own performance. I’ve worked hard with my team but luck seems to have deserted me at Assen.

“During FP (Free Practice) 1, with 15 minutes to go, my engine stalled due to technical problems. I could not improve on my position because it rained during FP2. That was the first time I rode the bike in the rain.

“In FP 3, the circuit was dry but then all the riders had improved their times compared to FP 1. I improved too but not as much as those ahead of me,” the 27-year-old rider said during a virtual media conference today.

Hafizh, however, is determined to improve his performance in the remaining races, starting with the Austrian GP on Aug 8, especially if his team can rectify his bike’s engine problems.

Meanwhile, Hafizh became the first national motorsports ace to undergo quarantine at the National Sports Council (NSC) in Kampung Pandan after former Moto2 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin requested the government to allow the riders to undergo quarantine just like other Olympic-bound athletes.

Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM) secretary-general Muizz Azli said the move was to ensure riders could maintain their momentum and undergo training during the mandatory quarantine period.

“For motorsports, not many activities can be carried out now, although such activities are going smoothly in foreign countries. So, what MAM can assist in is to ensure they can continue to train during their quarantine period so that they can maintain their momentum to do the best.

“They have been placed at the NSC training centre where they can use the sports facilities, like the gymnasium and swimming pool, to stay active while undergoing quarantine,” he explained.