Monday, September 20, 2010

Malaysia to have Moto2 wildcard rider

Sepang International Circuit is spearheading a second MotoGP Wildcard programme that will see a local rider competing in the new Moto2 class at the upcoming 2010 Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix which will be held at Sepang International Circuit from 8-10 October 2010.

The collaboration between SIC, Two Wheels Motor Racing, PETRONAS and Japanese chassis provider, MORIWAKI, which came to Sepang International Circuit recently for a development test, made the entry possible for ARRC Championship Rider Mohd Zamri Baba as he had a unique experience to test the Moto2 bike earlier today at Sepang International Circuit along with his teammate Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman.

As another landmark move in Malaysian Motorsports history, SIC and its partners - TWMR, PETRONAS, Dunlop, Moto Milia, Motorsports Association of Malaysia, AAM and the Youth and Sports Ministry - brokered the inaugural GP wildcard programme last year which saw Elly Idzlianizar Ilias and Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin granted wildcard entries to compete in the 125cc at the 2009 Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

SIC CEO, Razlan Razali said that the programme for next year's Moto2 GP Wildcard ticket will still continue as this year's entry is an added bonus. In the 2011 plan, SIC had offered to the top three finishers in the 600cc Supersports Championship category of the Malaysian Super Series a seat for a selected group for a final selection for the wildcard ticket in the Moto2.

Commenting after the Moto2 test earlier today, both Zamri and Azlan agreed that the Moto2 bike is ever more challenging than their Yamaha R6 bikes which they usually ride in the ARRC and the Malaysian Super Series Supersports Championship.

Introduced this year in replacement of the World 250cc category, the Moto2 GP championship runs bikes with both engines and chassis provided by a single manufacturer from the Honda Racing Corporation.

For Zamri, it was a lifelong dream that finally came through and a perfect incentive for him after his sensational performance scoring the first victory for Malaysia this season at the just concluded Round 4 of the Asian Road Racing Championship in Madras.

"It will be a fantastic and unprecedented Malaysian MotoGP come October with a local representative in the 125cc by Fahmi and now Zamri Baba in the Moto2. We expect a full support of the Malaysian motorsport fans to make the 20th edition of the Malaysian MotoGP the biggest ever", Razlan Razali added at the press conference held at Sepang earlier today.

Sepang will be hosting Round 15 of the MotoGP Championship from 8-10 October 2010, and are offering tickets from as low as RM30 for fans to enjoy top class entertainment on and off track at the 2010 Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

For the local fans, it would be a rare opportunity to see their own local hero Zulfahmi and now Zamri Baba to test their skills with worlds best at home soil apart from catching the other top Malaysian riders in action at the support races.

Azlan and Kuhara double victory

Defending champion Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman kept his hopes alive in retaining the Malaysian Super Series (MSS) 600cc Supersports crown with a spectacular performance at Round 3 in Sepang yesterday with a double victory for the second successive time this season.

Azlan, who missed the opening round in April earlier this year, took a double victory at Round 2 in July, hauls the gap closer with championship leader Mohd Suhadi Ali Rahmat with just two more rounds to go for this years' season 2010.

Suhadi, on the other hand, had to settle with the double second placing who finished the race behind Azlan. The former 2009 Superstock champion added another 40 points to stay 10 points ahead of Azlan Shah in the championship standings.

Rathapong Walairot, the younger brother of Moto2 rider Rathapak Walairot who upstaged Azlan and Suhadi in the qualifying session on Saturday, topped the Junior Category, though was unable to equal the race pace of the two Malaysian riders.

Azlan who was representing the PETRONAS Sprinta Yamaha Racing, said that the championship battle was still an open affair to the rest of the riders including Thailand's Suhatchai Chaemsap and his teammate, Zamri Baba, who was missing from the round as well.

In the Superbike Championship, defending champion Yasuhiro Kuhara also managed to score a double win to add another 50-points to his total championship points as he closes in to his third MSS title. The Japanese rider for Team HKL Racing has now 145-championship points and looked strong to seal the crown at the next round during the Round 4 which will be held during the Malaysian GP as support races.

Ahmad Zamani Baharuddin managed to open up a gap of 25-points ahead of Ramon Azrem in the Superstock Championship category after a second placing in Race 1 and a winner in Race 2. Ramon, will have to perform well in the next two rounds to snatch the championship title away from Zamani when he did not finish the race in the second heat, although winning the first race.

The next round will be held as support races to the 2010 Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix from 8-10 October 2010, and the final round in November.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Disappointment for Zulfahmi at San Marino

Disappointment for Zulfahmi Khairuddin as his battle for championship points in the MotoGP's 125cc category was denied after his machine faced technical problems after completing only 2-laps out of the 23-lap race at Misano yesterday.

Zulfahmi managed to rise from 28th to 20th position on the starting grid after a great performance in the qualifying session on Saturday. His target was to gain at least another championship point for the round in Misano.

He was very disappointed with the technical problem he faced with his bike when the engine came to a halt and the rear wheel jammed right after the second lap of the race.

Fahmi, who also encountered technical difficulties which ended his race early at the Indianapolis Speedway in United States last week, said that he had hoped for a better race at San Marino after a team effort in improving the bike's overall engine performance.

"My Aprilia machine looked very promising as the team improved the machine's performance", he added looking sad and disappointed with his performance.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Misano Adriatico Grand Prix Preview

There will be no rest for the Fiat Yamaha as they return to Europe and Marvellous Misano despite having just finished a punishing weekend's race in the searing heat of Indianapolis.

As for the Ducati Marlboro Team, they will return home this weekend looking up to put on a good show for the local crowd at Misano and make up for a rather disappointing race last year, which Casey Stoner missed through illness whilst Nicky Hayden was taken out by another rider in the first turn.

The MotoGP riders will be back on board in less than four days time for the twelfth round of the season at Misano Adriatico on Italy's eastern seaboard. It will be another 'home' race for the Fiat Yamaha Team, as it lies just a few hundred kilometres away from their Italian base, and both championship leader Jorge Lorenzo and his team-mate Valentino Rossi will be planning on a big weekend at the Italian party town.

Misano lies just 30-kilometres away from Valentino Rossi's hometown of Tavullia, where the 31-year-old legend grew up and where he still lives today.

The Misano Adriatico circuit was built at the start of the seventies and has since undergone a series of modifications that have altered both the length as well as the layout and updates and upgrades of pit facilities and paddock. The current layout of the track which was switched from an anti-clockwise to clockwise in 2007 when MotoGP returned after 16-years of absence, looks straightforward but is far from it.

The twelfth round of 2010 season will be a race to be remembered as Rossi is hoping to give the fans a good show as it will be his last race for the Fiat Yamaha Team at his hometown circuit.

"Of course it's my home race and it's near my house so it's always very special to race there, in front of all my fans. I have won there the last two years but this year we come in slightly different circumstances. Still, we will be trying our hardest and I really hope I can give the fans a good show", Valentino Rossi.

Valentino Rossi still holds the lap record at Misano which he set in 2009 on his Fiat Yamaha with a best time of 1 minute 34.746 seconds.

In 2009, Valentino Rossi won the MotoGP race with a total time of 44 minutes 32.882 seconds with Jorge Lorenzo coming in second, just 2.416 seconds behind Rossi and Dani Pedrosa completing the top three finishers 12.400 seconds behind Rossi.

Monday, August 23, 2010

ARTA HSV-010 gets first win of the season

GT500 class winner for the Round 6 of the 2010 AUTOBACS Super GT Series that was held at the Suzuka Circuit in conjunction with the 39th International Pokka GT Summer Special on 22 August 2010 was team ARTA HSV-010 with drivers Ralph Firman, Yuji Ide and Takashi Kobayashi, bagging their first win of the season.

Team ARTA HSV-010 started from the front row of the grid in pole position with Yuji Ide as the starting driver. The team completed the 121 laps of the 5.807-kilometre Suzuka Circuit in 4 hours 7 minutes 10.085 seconds.

The Motul AUTECH GT-R finished the race in second overall in the GT500 category with just 22 seconds behind team ARTA HSV-010 whilst Team RAYBRIG HSV-010 managing third overall in the GT500 category.

Ralph Firman was relieved with the win at Suzuka Circuit and was delighted that it was the team's first win in their ARTA HSV-010 for the season, even though it was a tough season so far. With the win at Suzuka, the team can now look forward to the remainder of the races for the season with a bigger confidence for the team as well as the drivers.

Yuji Ide added that he was also delighted as it was his first pole start for him for quite some time, as he managed to stay calm and get a good head start for the race.

"Since joining the ARTA team this year, I had not been able to contribute to a good race result, so I wanted to win here. What was the reason for my tears after the race? There are really just too many reasons.", he added.

Team R&D Sport Legacy B4 emerged as winners in the GT300 class with drivers Tetsuya Yamano and Kota Sasaki, after starting from 11th position on the GT300 class grid.

The teams will now move on to Round 7 of the AUTOBACS 2010 Super GT at Fuji Speedway for the OKAYAMA GT 300 kilometre Race round the 4.563-kilometre Fuji Speedway track on 12 September 2010.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BRNO Tests

Bad weather at Brno afforded the MotoGP teams just half a day's testing in the second and final official one-day post-GP session schedule, setting their self up for the rest of the eight races for the 2010 MotoGP Season.

Jorge Lorenzo of the Fiat Yamaha Team, who picked up from where he left-off during the first session the day before, was still the fastest round the track with a total time of 1 minute 56.269 seconds whilst his team-mate Valentino Rossi, only able to clock fourth fastest with a total time of 1 minute 57.129 seconds.

The Fiat Yamaha team tested their new engine upgrade as well as a new suspension setting for their M1 bikes for both Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo, on the other hand, was able to complete some laps on Yamaha's 2011 prototype YZR-M1.

Being the fastest round the track, Jorge Lorenzo was happy with the 2-day post-GP official tests held at Brno, as he finds that the tests were important and rather interesting for them. Unfortunately, the heavy rain forced all the teams to stop early.

Casey Stoner of the Ducati Marlboro Team managed to clock second fastest completing yesterday's post-GP test session with his team-mate Nicky Hayden, only managing tenth fastest on the time sheets. Nicky Hayden who injured his left wrist was riding a more conservative lap round the track to ensure he is able to be back to full fitness in time for his home race at Indianapolis on 29 August.

"We tried a new fork today and as far as we could tell, the feeling is positive. Unfortunately we were only able to get a couple of hours in this morning because immediately after lunch, it started to rain and we couldn't complete the test.", Casey Stoner of the Ducati Marlboro Team.

Meanwhile, Dani Pedrosa from the Repsol Honda Team completes the top three Unofficial Lap Times for the 2-day post-GP Season Test yesterday finishing third fastest with a lap time of 1 minute 56.944 seconds, just 0.1 seconds slower than Casey Stoner.

The current circuit record is still being held by Jorge Lorenzo which he clocked 1 minute 56.670 seconds in 2009 with an average speed of 166.716 Km/h while Rossi having holding the Best Pole lap with a fastest time of 1 minute 56.145 seconds, which he also recorded in 2009 on his Yamaha.

The teams will now have a weekend off before making headway for the next GP at Indianapolis in The United States of America for the next round of the MotoGP World Championship.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Valentino Rossi and Ducati

Nine-times World MotoGP Champion, Valentino Rossi, seals the deal with Ducati, after signing a two year agreement to race with the "Rossa" of Borgo Panigale in the Ducati Marlboro Team from 2011.

The arrival of Valentino Rossi in Ducati opens a new and exciting chapter in the Italian factory's sporting history and indeed, of the whole World MotoGP Championship. The opportunity of the lining-up both an extraordinary rider and character is considered by Ducati to be a huge value to the whole Ducati MotoGP Project.

Fillipo Preziosi, Ducati Corse General Director, expressed that he sees Valentino as a great fan of motorcycles and so, it has always been a pleasure for him to listen to Vale's opinions.

He added that until the end of the 2010 Valencia GP, Rossi will remain as a competitor, one so great, that have always given special values to Ducati's victories, but, as soon as Rossi rides the Ducati for the first time, they will continue to work together on every single detail that will develop the bike better in order to fully unleash its huge talent.

"Working with Valentino is one of the most exciting things for every engineer and it's good to know we will have this great opportunity next season", he added.

The Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd, announced Rossi's part from the company at the end of this season hours after the Czech Republic Grand Prix yesterday. They have announced that Valentino Rossi has played a huge part in Yamaha Racing's history and Rossi will remain as an important part of Yamaha's heritage.

On behalf of the Yamaha Motor Group, Managing Director Lin Jarvis of the Yamaha Motor Racing, conveyed the company's sincerest gratitude for the amazing seven years that Rossi and Yamaha had spent together.

In 2004, Rossi joined the Yamaha Racing Team, during that moment, Yamaha was still struggling in road racing after eleven seasons without a single championship victory.

"There have been so many wonderful experiences and victories and we are very proud to have been able to make history together. Whilst we regret Vale's decision to move on, at the same time we fully respect his decision to search for a new challenge and we wish him the very best for 2011 and beyond.", he added.

Rossi quoted that it is very difficult to explain in just a few words what a great relationship bond that has been bonded between Yamaha and himself in the past seven years. He added that many improvements and things have changed since that far-off time in 2004, but definitely, the M1, has changed.At one time, 'she' was a poor middle-grid position MotoGP bike, derided by most of the riders and the MotoGP workers.

"Now, the moment has come to look for new challenges; my work here at Yamaha is finished. Unfortunately even the most beautiful love stories finish, but they leave a lot of wonderful memories, like when my M1 and I kissed for the first time on the grass at Welkom, when she looked straight in my eyes and told me 'I Love You!'", he added, in his handwritten manuscript (in Italian).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lorenzo Wins at Brno

Photo: Fiat Yamaha Team

Round 10 of the World MotoGP Championship was held at the Brno Circuit, Czech Republic, seeing Jorge Lorenzo dominating the race from start till the chequered flag. Jorge Lorenzo secures his impressive seventh win of the season at the Grand Prix of Czech, marks him the only third premier-class rider in history to finish in the top two at the opening ten races of the season.

In stark contrast to his Fiat Yamaha team-mate's good fortunes, Valentino Rossi ran into problems from the start of the race and could only finish fifth.

Despite surrendering pole position for the first time in six races, Jorge Lorenzo proved to be a remarkable racer, when he made some bold moves around the first two turns, seeing him take the lead before the first split and he looked in imperious from on his Yamaha M1, with yesterday's front-end troubles clearly a thing of the past.

Valentino Rossi in the other hand, was confident that he would be able to mount a strong challenge for honours in the afternoon, following the heavy rain in the morning, but it was not to be for the Italian. He had felt strong all weekend despite sliding off during qualifying but he never had the same confidence in the race and was unable to ride as he would have liked.

In a post race conference, Valentino expressed that he was very disappointed with the race results, as he was confident of putting a great challenge at the front. He was confident as everything seemed right, but yet, they were not as fast as the front runners.

"We are sad but tomorrow we will have the chance to test and try to understand what went wrong today, which will help us to be in better shape in Indianapolis. As for my future, you will know something at 6pm today", he added.

With a win from Lorenzo today, he is clear of Pedrosa by 77 championship points in the standings, with only eight rounds remaining. Valentino Rossi in the other hand, holds at fifth in the standings, with 101 championship points, just 14-points behind Andrea Dovizioso of the Repsol Honda Team.

In the 125cc category, Malaysia's local hero, Mohd Zulfahmi Khairuddin managed to secure another point, after finishing fifteenth position in the race at Brno despite the poor weather conditions.

Zulfahmi who started the race from twenty third on the grid, took the track cautiously in adjusting to the wet tracks. During the post race interview, he said that he had to be a little more careful on the tracks, and he is grateful to the team who had prepared and delivered an awesome bike for the race.

Zulfahmi expressed that he is really happy to finish the race in the top twenty and to score yet another point, meeting his target for his race today.

Razlan Razali, Chief Executive Officer of Sepang International Circuit, was delighted and immensely proud of the young rider's performance at Brno, despite of the wet conditions of the Brno Circuit.

"I am glad that he triumphed despite the adverse conditions at the track. This proves that he has definitely improved on his performance, and he is learning to adjust himself to the pressures he encounters in every race.", he added.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mizz Nina Performs at 2010 MMER

Motor Racing fans were entertained by Mizz Nina at the Mall Area at Sepang International Circuit during the 2010 Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race. The concert was proudly presented by Digi and Tuners in conjunction with the Tuners Fest 2010 held here.

Aside from having Mizz Nina, there were fun filled games and contests set up for spectators at the Welcome Centre with activities like colouring contests, dance competition and many more for those spectators with accompanying children. The side events held during the 2010 MMER at Sepang International Circuit was a success with many entries from participating schools for the Dance Competition.

A&W was one of the many sponsors for the events held, whilst kids and families entertained with special appearance by the A&W Bear as well as "Upin dan Ipin" mascots special appearances.

An autoshow was also held as among the events lined up for the weekend at Sepang International Circuit, where 60+ cars will be competing in several categories such as Standard Modified, Extreme Modified, Open Modified, VIP Concept, Best Lighting and K-Car.

The race weekend's side track events was a partnership between SIC and an online automotive magazine portal, Pro Tuners.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tunku Hammam Crowned MMER Champion

Tunku Hammam Tunku Sulong, won his second Merdeka Millenium Endurance Race title as his Arrows Racing Team upstaged the favorites Audi Works Team at Sepang International Circuit last weekend.

The partnership between former European GT3 champion, Christopher Haase and top Dutch driver, Peter Kox, the Arrows Racing Team drove a perfect race to the chequered flag in a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560, although starting from second on the grid, alongside pole sitter, Porsche Club Singapore Racing, led by Mok Weng Sun.

The Audi Race Experience Team Joest, featuring multiple Le Mans winners, Frank Biela and Marco Werner and WTCC driver Daryl O'Young, had to contend themselves with second placing, but vows to return stronger in next year's MMER to complete their mission for the top spot on the podium.

Tunku Hammam, in an interview during the post race conference, stated that the win this year is certainly much competitive as compared to the last one. He was delighted to win the title again, which he won his first title in the 2002 MMER, partnering Tommy Lee and Briton, Nigel Albon for Naza-Jaseri Racing Team.

"It would definitely be much harder if Mok was still in the race. They definitely had the faster car. But, this race is not about out and out speed. It's an endurance race!, he added.

It was heartbreaking for the partnership between Mok Weng Sun, Craig G. Baird and Richard Lietz, in their Porsche RSR, when it had mechanical problems, just after completing 119 laps round the 5.543-kilometre track of the Sepang International Circuit.

The Porsche Club Singapore Racing team started the race from pole position and was already breaking away from their rivals before their car came to a halt due to mechanical problems. The Kencana Racing Team, which also had a promising run, was also forced out by a similar problem with their Porsche machine.

The race was flagged off by Youth and Sports Minister, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek at the strike of midnight, joined by Miss Malaysia World Thanuja Ananthan and top singer Faradina Mohd Nadzir.

This year's MMER was filled with drama and suspense, as jinxed Empire Motorsports continued for a third year after their Lotus 2-11 bursts into flames during refueling, bringing their challenge to an abrupt, just after completing 56-laps. The team had faced a similar situation in last year's race, when electrical problems ignited their engine, and in the previous year, 2008, a broken wheel nut in the final hour brought their challenge to an end.

Defending champions, Team PETRONAS Syntium, which had Tatsuya Kataoka, Fariqe Hairuman and Melvin Moh, failed to finish the race, when their BMW Z4M Coupe encountered a mechanical failure just 80-minutes away from the chequered flag.

The Honda Malaysia Racing Team won the Touring Production Class Race, whilst Team Tracy Sports, featuring Masatama Kawaguchi, Masayuki Ueda and Adam Han in their Honda S2000, won the Sports Production Class Category.

Tunku Hammam added at the end of the post race press conference that he hoped to return in next year's MMER, but still unsure, whether it would be the same partnership.

"Hopefully, with these guys again and hopefully, we will get a better car or we can use the same car to race next year.", he added.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Porsche Club Singapore Takes Third Successive Pole in MMER

Porsche Club Singapore Racing will start tomorrow's 2010 12-hour Merdeka Millenium Endurance Race at Sepang International Circuit for the third consecutive year.

Lead by two-time Malaysian Super Series Supercar champion, Mok Weng Sun, the team clocked a total time of 6 minutes 17.346 seconds around the 5.543-kilometre Sepang International Track, while Arrows Racing Team, starts second on the front row of the grid.

The Porsche Club Singapore Racing failed in their bid to retain the overall title last year despite starting from pole position, after winning the MMER in 2008. The team eventually finished third after they have encountered mechanical problems in the first hour of the race, having spent 35 minutes in the pits repairing the damage.

"I started from pole position in 2008 and won the race so I am really hoping to repeat that performance at the race tomorrow", Mok Weng Sun, during the post qualifying press conference at the circuit.

He added that were not able to retain the title in 2009 despite starting from pole position. He hoped that he will be at the drivers press conference tomorrow after the race.

MOFAZ Racing, which features the Fauzy brothers, Fairuz and Farriz; and Rizal Ashram Ramli were the fastest in the Sports Production Class, clocking the total time of 7 minutes 8.563 seconds, 14th overall in the qualifying time sheets.

The Honda Malaysia Racing Team will start tonights midnight flag off from 17th on the grid, as they were the fastest in the Touring Production class with a total time of 7 minutes 16.757 seconds.

Thanuja Anandthan, Miss Malaysia Miss World 2009/2010, will flag the race off at midnight tonight, with 36 cars on the starting grid.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Key to winning an Endurance Race

Participants of the Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race are busy setting and testing their cars as the 12-hour endurance race draws near. The teams main concern is their car's reliability to endure the 12-hour duration of the race, which can be affected by many different factors.

Race driver, Fairuz Fauzy from Mofaz Racing Team, said that the team's main source of worry right now is the durability of the Pirelli Tyres, unlike previous seasons, tyre makes were not standardised.

Fairuz, who will be partnering with his brother Farriz Fauzy and former German F3 driver Rizal Ashram Ramli, said that the change of tyres basically means that all the teams taking part in the 2010 MMER will have to start from ground zero.

"We all have to calibrate the cars according to the tyres. So far, quite a few teams have been struggling with the tyres as they tend to wear out after only eight or nine rounds. Imagine how it will be in a 12-hour race. It is a really big challenge for us and the other teams in getting the best out of the tyres and trying to ensure that they last longer.", he added.

This year's MMER will see participation from experienced endurance racers likes of Frank Biela, Marco Werner, Peter Kox, Christopher Haase, Daryl O'Young, Matthew Marsh, Tatsuya Kataoka, Nobuteru Taniguchi and Masataka Managida.

Aside from Fairuz, who is currently the test driver for Lotus F1 Racing team, this year's MMER witnesses the participation of many other top names in the world of motor racing, including winners of the prestigious 24-hour LeMans Race.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Honda Racing's Biggest Challenge

Former A1GP Team Malaysia Driver, Aaron Lim and his Honda Malaysia Racing Team (HMRT) expressed that the team's biggest challenge quest for the race title this year's Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race (MMER) is the extended nocturnal driving hours.

This year's 11th edition of the 12-hour endurance race held at the Sepang International Circuit will have the drivers race seven hours in darkness of night of the 5.543-kilometre track and just five hours of daylight.

Aaron said that the night driving demands extra attention and focus from the drivers, thus putting more stress and pressure on them.

"Rain may also be an additional challenge for us, and it is unpredictable", he added, in clear reference to the heavy three-hour early morning downpour in 2006. The downpour may have been the reason behind the organisers decision to switch the event from its midnight start to an 1100hrs start from the following year.

The HMRT will be backed and fully supported by a full-fledged local crew of 22 personnel from its Honda Malaysia plant in Melaka and its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. The team will be competing in the Touring Production Class, which will feature a host of Honda Civic FD2s, Honda Integra DC5s and the two-litre Toyota Altezza.

Aaron added that the other challenge for this year's 11th edition 2010 MMER would be the restrictions to one tyre maker, Pirelli, for all the competitors.

HMRT team leader, Loh Chin Wooi said that the team's preparation, which includes the training of 11 new members, have been progressing smoothly. He added that the new members will need to learn new ropes when they were selected to join the HMRT, to acquire new skills, beyond their usual day job.

"Of course, we are fully confident that the senior members in the team will be able to share and impart their knowledge onto the new members", adding that he is confident that his three drivers will be taking the team to the top of the podium.

The 11th edition of the Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race will be flagged off at midnight on 8 August 2010 and the chequered flag will be out 12-hours later at noon on the same day.

Audi Works Team debut at 2010 MMER

The 2010 Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race (MMER) gets more interesting when Audi Race Experience Team Joest driven by two former LeMans winning drivers confirms their entry this year. It is no surprise that they are the crowd's favorite for this year's MMER.

Dato' Mokhzani Mahathir, owner of the Kencana Racing Team and 2007 overall champion is delighted with the high-profile team's entry in the MMER.

"I think this is the first time that a factory works team is taking part in the MMER. This is something that we should be proud of as we can learn from how an established team presents itself for the race.", he added.

The Audi Race Experience Team Joest will be anchored by the driving brilliance and experience of former winners of the Le Mans Endurance Race, Frank Biela and Marco Werner. Their participation gets mote powerful and complete, with Daryl O' Young, former Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion gets behind the wheel.

This years' participation turns into a world class event, seeing other top racing names including Peter Kox, Christopher Haase, Richard Lietz, Craig Baird, Matthew Marsh, Dominic Farnbacher, Tatsuya Kataoka, Nobuteru Taniguchi and Masataka Yanagida.

The list of entrants extends with participation of Malaysian drivers in this year's 2010 MMER, with former Formula One driver, Alex Yoong, the current Lotus F1 Racing test driver Fairuz Fauzy, Meritus team owner Firhat Mokhzani, GT3 Asia driver Tunku Hammam Sulong, Eddie Lew, Wong Yew Choong, Keifli Othman and former equestrian champion, Ashraff Dewal.

In last year's race, the PETRONAS Syntium Racing Team scored a sensational 1-2 finish with the triumvirate of Tatsuya Kataoka, Manubu Orido and Malaysian youngster Johan Adzmi in a BMW Z4M Coupe.

Dato' Mokhzani added that the traditional midnight start of the race is great, as it gives the drivers at least seven hours of cool driving, so it's less physically taxing.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Reigning Champion Dominates the Race Weekend

Yasuhiro Kuhara of Team HKL Racing, two-time defending champion, was in a class of his own, when he won both races comfortably in the Superbikes Category. This is his second double victory as he had two wins in Round 1.

Meanwhile, in the Supersports Championship category, the PETRONAS Yamaha Racing Team came in full force for Round 4 as they put their top three ARRC riders, Azlan, Mohd Zamri Baba and Ahmad Fuad Baharuddin to join youngster Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah, to put an end to the domination of the Idemitsu Honda Racing Team in Round 1.

Azlan and Zamri both, won both races one and two, giving the team a sensational 1-2 in both races.

The competition is ever more heated up, when Sepang International Circuit, offered a golden opportunity for the top three finishers in the Supersports Championship to be part of the selection for the 2011 Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix Moto2 wildcard riders.

Azlan is happy with the win in both races, and expressed that it was a great team effort that paid off for the win. He added that he hoped to retain his title for this season's Malaysian Super Series.

Zamri, added that the team aims to maintaining their win in the next three races, and confident that they will have the opportunity to do well in the overall championship, even though, they have lost 50 points in Round 1.

It was also a big day for the newly-established Kajang Racing Team as their rider, Mohd Syahnas Shahidan, brough his MV Agusta machine to a double podium finish, taking second and third placing in race 1 and race 2 respectively in the Superbikes Category.

The former ARRC rider with PETRONAS Yamaha Racing Team, Syahnas, said that the team did not do too well during the opening round.

"But we took a double podium today, and that is a fantastic result indeed. We hope to do even better in the next round", he added.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

It can't get any hotter in Sepang

Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, 2008 Supersports Category Champion, of the PETRONAS Yamaha team tops the qualifying sheets in the Supersports Championship at the round 2 of the Malaysian Super Series at Sepang International Circuit today by clocking 2 minutes 14.629 seconds round the 5.543-kilometre track.

Azlan made himself clear that his advantage was his experience and knowledge of the track that paid off with not only qualifying first on the grid, but it was his best personal lap round the track.

"I, myself, was suprised. I am happy with the performance of the bike and the hot and dry weather really suited us well.", he added.

His rivalry teammate, Zamri Baba, clocked 2 minutes 15.003 seconds, and they would be sharing the front row of the starting grid tomorrow with Walairot Rathapong and Suhatchai Cheamsap, who both clocked 2 minutes 15.247 seconds and 2 minutes 16.311 seconds respectively.

Suhadi Ali Rahmat, only managed to clock fifth fastest, to start on the second row of the grid tomorrow.

The defending champion in the Superbikes Category, Japanese, Yasuhiro Kuhara, of Team HKL Racing, proved yet again in the qualifying session today that he is the best rider to beat with a fastest lap of 2 minutes 14.174 seconds.

Kuhara will start the Superbikes Category of the Malaysian Super Series tomorrow from the front row of the grid with Abdul Rahim Sidek, Mohd Syahnas and Ahmad Azhar completing the top four qualifiers.

The round 4 of the Malaysian Super Series will start at 0900hrs to be held at the Sepang International Circuit. Apart from the bikes competition, fans would also get the opportunity to catch actions in the ATCS, Macau N2000 Series, Macau Roadsports Challenge and the PETRONAS Formula Xperience races tomorrow.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Suhadi aims for Moto2 wildcard

Mohamad Suhadi Ali Rahmat, the 2009 Malaysian Super Series Superstock Champion is all out for this year's championship to grab the Moto2 wildcard ticket for the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix offered by the Sepang International Circuit.

Suhadi, was delighted with his team who as well, are making this a priority. With Idemitsu Honda Racing team's support, he looks all set for the win this weekend after winning the first round.

Mohamad Suhadi started biking in his teenage days in Motocross, winning the national championship at the age of 16. He successfully delivered the 125cc Wildcard programme in last year's race, helping out Mohd Zulfahmi Khairuddin realising his dream to compete in the World 125cc MotoGP championship this season.

Efforts are being made by Sepang International Circuit working closely with Dorna to carry the similar Wildcard Programme for the 2011 Moto2 Championship. Candidates for the Malaysian Moto2 Wildcard Programme would be selected from the Malaysian Super Series' Supersports Championship with the top three riders to be put in a comprehensive selection programme.

Suhadi added that the championship this year is very competitive, with the Thai riders, riding pretty fast as well.

"Its good that there are now opportunities for local riders to move forward and test their skills in the international arena. I congratulate SIC for offering this opportunity to dream of competing in Moto2.", he added.

Apart from the second round of the biking competitions, this weekend's race event will also feature the ATCS, Malaysian Touring Car Challenge, Macau N2000, Macau Roadsports Challenge and the single seater PETRONAS Formula Xperience.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sixth victory for Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo dominated the race at the Grand Prix of USA held at the Laguna Seca Speedway yesterday starting from pole position, although losing ground at start, snatched the chequered flag to finish first, which accounts to a total of six GP victories this season.

His teammate Valentino Rossi, made a triumphant return to the podium just seven weeks after being breaking his leg, overhauling Andrea Dovizioso during a thrilling last ten laps of the race, to finish third.

Lorenzo lost ground at the start of the race for the first few laps, lapping third behind Pedrosa and Stoner. By the sixth lap, he managed to snatch second place when Stoner ran wide and continue to pressure Pedrosa, his fellow Spaniard.

Pedrosa crashed out and left Lorenzo in the lead and from then on, it was smooth sailing for Lorenzo till the finish line. Lorenzo was very happy to win the race in US Soil as this victory is his 11th in MotoGP, his 32nd in all classes and his 10th successful podium.

"I am really looking forward to some time to relax now after two very busy months. Thanks to everyone in my team for doing a brilliant job.", he added.

Meanwhile, his teammate Valentino Rossi had suffered all weekend with pain in both his leg and his shoulder. Once Pedrosa has crashed out of the race, Rossi's fighting instinct kicked in as he spied a podium possibility. In fourth, he gradually closed down the gap with Dovizioso, and with just six laps remaining, he was already within striking distance.

"When I saw Pedrosa on the gravel, I just had to try to catch Dovizioso! I just pushed as hard as I could for a few laps and that brought me closer to him and then I couldn't give up, somehow I caught him and it was a great feeling to pass him to take third.", Valentino Rossi, during the post race interview.

Rossi added that he is thankful that everyone around him has helped him gained back into form and back on the podium. He is happy that there will be some time off for the next race in Brno, just so that he can work on regaining his physical fitness in time.

Source: Fiat Yamaha Team

Keihin HSV-010 wins at SUGO GT300km Race

The round 5 of the 2010 Autobacs Super GT was a 300-kilometre race which took place at the 3.704-kilometre Sportsland SUGO Circuit. The cars completed a total 81-laps of the circuit to round up the 300-kilometre battle.

Pole sitter, Benoit Treluyer of the MOTUL Autech GT-R had a great start and continued to open up a gap over the rest of the pack to 15-seconds at one point. The second half of the race was driven by Benoit's teammate, Satoshi Motoyama, who continued to hold the lead with a difference of 6-seconds, what looked like a victory for the MOTUL Autech GT-R.

Unfortunate for the GT-R, as the car came to a halt at the last corner of the circuit with just 8-laps remaining, due to a developed electrical problem.

With Motoyama out of the race, the battle for the win was between the two Honda HSV-010 GT cars, with Takashi Kogure in his Weider HSV-010 and Koudai Tsukakoshi in the KEIHIN HSV-010. The battle was head-to-head till the last corner of the last lap, when Tsukakoshi brought his HSV-010 even with Kogure from the outside and then nosed ahead just as they crossed the chequered flag.

Tsukakoshi managed to snatch the win over Kogure with just 0.025-seconds apart from each other as the crossed the finish line.

Tsukakoshi, who was still in disbelief during the post race interview, was very happy with the win and felt that the achievement was just luck.

"I think I was just very lucky. As a team, we have confidence that we can run good races, now all we need to work on is getting a better qualifying position. Then, I will try my best to go for a second win in the next round.", he added.

In the GT-300 class, the Apple K-ONE Shiden driven by Hiroki Katoh and Hiroshi Hamaguchi started from pole position and never gave up the lead all the way to the chequered flag.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lorenzo's Firth Pole

Jorge Lorenzo secures an impressive fifth consecutive pole at Laguna Seca, USA, the 40th of his career across all classes, while his recovering team-mate Valentino Rossi, continues to struggle a little with his current physical condition, to settle for sixth.

Lorenzo, who was also the pole-sitter in last year's race was very happy with his results and securing his fifth pole. He did not expect this pole position this year, as Casey Stoner was also fast at Laguna Seca, who is second fastest in the qualifying session.

He added that he looks forward to the race at Laguna Seca as it is always a special race here with a great atmosphere.

Laguna Seca is a much more technical circuit than Sachsenring, making it less forgiving for Valentino Rossi this weekend. Rossi was physically challenged around the 3.610-kilometre track.

Rossi expressed that his team members and himself will need to improve the bike settings to get closer to the pack leaders in tomorrow's race. He admitted that the track was much difficult than Sachsenring as the demanding corners and hard braking areas is very technical and physically challenging.

"My leg feels better than yesterday, which is good, the problem today is the shoulder because my left one isn't strong enough to compensate completely for the lack of power in my right one and now I have some pain in both!", he added.

Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso will start the race alongside Lorenzo, completing the front row of the grid, while Dani Pedrosa and Ben Spies, who qualified fourth and fifth fastest respectively completes the second row of the grid with Rossi qualifying sixth fastest.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fiat Yamaha Unveils Laguna Seca Livery

The Fiat Yamaha unveiled their one-off Laguna Seca livery on Thursday, 22 July 2010, with both Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo present for the unveiling ceremony. This livery celebrates the impending release of the Fiat 500 car in the United States of America and features the faces of 500 fans on the fairing of both bikes.

Fans all over the world were given the chance to submit their photos to be pictured on the fairings of the M1s of Rossi and Lorenzo. In just 30 minutes just after the special site was launched, both the fairings were filled with photos submitted by fans globally.

source: Fiat Yamaha Team

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rossi makes a Remarkable Comeback

Just six weeks after the crash incident in Mugello, the Valentino Rossi makes a remarkable comeback at the German GP finishing fourth by a mere whisker, with his teammate Jorge Lorenzo finishing second. A red flag after nine laps meant the race was restarted, with Dani Pedrosa eventually taking the win after a 21-lap "second" race.

The race at Sachsenring was thrilling with Valentino Rossi battling Casey Stoner for third placing till the chequered flag. On the final lap of the race, Rossi overtook Stoner, in what looked like a decisive move, but on the final corner, Stoner somehow found a way back through, snatching third place, with Rossi forced to settle for fourth.

Davide Brivio, Vale's team manager, expressed that the race weekend at Sachsenring was totally unexpected. A week ago, the team was still 50-50, whether they will be able to race at the German GP yet turned out to be a great weekend by not only able to finish in the top five, but was competitive to snatch podium.

Valentino Rossi had a great battle with Casey for third, and was very close to the podium, expressing that it was a fantastic result after being missing four races.

"I need some more kilometres to really recover the feeling and feel completely okay with the bike again, but I think I did a great job and this was a very good comeback, better than we could wish for.", he added.

Thirteen riders restarted the race, with Pedrosa passing Lorenzo into turn one. The race restart saw Valentino Rossi again losing some ground but he passed Hayden second time around to retake fifth and set off in pursuit of the leaders. Rossi has always been the one to amaze however and he was soon lapping at the same pace as the leading pack to bring him within striking distance with Stoner.

The remaining six laps of the race was simply breathtaking with superb action and overtaking maneuvers from both Rossi and Stoner.

After finishing second for Lorenzo in Sachsenring, the 23-year-old has now finished in first or second place at every one out of eight rounds this season.

Wilco Zeelenberg, Lorenzo's team manager for the Fiat Yamaha Racing, was delighted when Lorenzo, once again, rode well to bag the 20 valuable championship points.

The championship standings now stands with Lorenzo leading with 185 points, Dani Pedrosa with 138 points in second and Dovizioso third with 102 championship points. Rossi is now sixth in the championship standings behind Hayden and Stoner, with 74 championship points.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A wet Round 3 Race

The Round 3 of the Malaysian Super Series was held at the Sepang International Circuit from 17-18 July 2010 seeing the Macau races being held at the circuit as support races to the main event.

The schedule was packed with action filled events with 7 packed back to back races being held, like the GT3 Asia Series, Malaysian GT (formally known as the GT4 Series), Asian Touring Car Series, Classic Car Championship, Supersixteen Championship Series, Macau Roadsports Challenge and the Macau N2000 Series.

Mok Weng Sun, dominated the GT3 Asia Series in races 1 and 2 in his Porsche, even in the pouring rain during the race 2 held later in the afternoon. Mok Weng Sun, who was skipping the Malaysian GT round focused fully on the GT3 Asia Series, paid out well.

In the Malaysian GT series, two-time Malaysian Super Series Champion, Dilantha Malagamuwa needed little time to understand his Lamborghini LP560 as he blazed through qualifying. Dilantha dominated the race from start in both the races held at the circuit.

The new LP560, which only arrived at the circuit Saturday, directly from Germany, clocked 2'9.588s around the 5.543 kilometre circuit, and the Sri Langkan driver were all smiles at the paddock as he expressed in delight of the performance of his prized possession.

He commented that the car was great and did not have to really push the car to its limit round the track, and the car's entry in the Malaysian GT Series was not the main purpose of the car.

"I am having this car for the Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race (MMER). That's the real battle", he added.

Bertie McCrory in his Lotus 7, took the win for both the races in the Classic Car Championship, while Boy Wong, in his Honda Civic, took both the wins gracefully in the SuperSixteen category as the heavy rain continue to pour on the circuit.

As the heavy rainstorm hit the circuit just before the start of the ATCS, and although the rain had eased off, the race was to start behind the safety car in order to allow the drivers to familiarise themselves and locate the areas of standing water.

A total of four cars did not finish the race, including Belmiro, Kuok Lo Keong and Fahrizal Hasan.

Charles Ng, winner in the ATCS Race 6 of the Round 3 Malaysian Super Series, was happy to win it when he overtook Cheung with just two laps remaining.

"With the wet tyres and lower tyre pressure, we had to take it a little slow. But, I had a great battle with Cheung", he added.

The ATCS race 7 & 8 will continue on 30 July 2010 during the Round 4 of the Malaysian Super Series to be held at the Sepang International Circuit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rossi debut return at Sachsenring

The Fiat Yamaha Team has announced that Valentino Rossi is cleared to race at this weekend's race in Sachsenring, six weeks after his accident in Italy.

Rossi was examined by Dr Huber Fischer, the Chief Medical Officer for this event declaring that Rossi is fit enough to complete this weekend's race. Rossi is said to be present at an official press conference at Sachsenring, Germany at 1700 CET today.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Confident at Sachsenring for Zulfahmi

Zulfahmi performed beyond expectations at the Round 6 of the World MotoGP in the 125cc category race held at Catalunya, claiming his first championship point there.

Zulfahmi Khairuddin of Malaysia's AirAsia Sepang International Circuit Racing Team has been advised to maintain his great performance, maintaining his focus without putting unnecessary pressure on himself.

Razlan Razali, SIC Chief Executive Officer, said that the Malaysian youngster should approach the upcoming German Grand Prix held at Sachsenring this weekend maintaining focus and his impressive form as he has done for the previous five rounds.

Zulfahmi will constantly be pressured by the local media and the stakeholders, though, the team has always reminded him to enjoy and relax during every race weekend, it will be difficult for him.

"But having said that, Fahmi is doing well mentally and physically, as we have seen often enough that during practice and qualifying, he crashes a fair bit; but picked himself up, focused and performed well", he added.

Razlan, who first saw Zulfahmi in action during the selection for the 2009 Malaysian GP Wildcard Programme, has only praised for the young Malaysian; saying that he has admired his dedication and commitment to constantly improve himself.

Though his participation in the World MotoGP was still recent, Razlan has expressed that the young Malaysian had provided strong impact to the Malaysian Motorsports.

AirAsia-SIC Team technical director, Alessandro Tognelli said that the point earned by the young rider in Catalunya arrived earlier than they had predicted. He added that there is absolutely no pressure on Fahmi to repeat the similar result in Germany, as his target is to continue learning the tracks, bike and racing strategies.

"I'm confident because Sachsenring is in a way less demanding than Catalunya. Having said that, you never know because every circuit presents a new adventure for Zulfahmi to tackle, but he's doing well.", he added.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rossi test in Brno

Today, Valentino Rossi completed second day of testing, this time at Brno in Czech Republic, following his first ride at Misano. His tests was to better understand his physical condition following the broken leg he sustained at Mugello five weeks ago.

Valentino Rossi completed 46 laps of the Brno Circuit with a best time of 1'59.135. Following the two positive tests at Brno and Misano, Rossi will now wait for a final medical check on Wednesday before making his final decision about riding at Sachsenrin in Germany.

Rossi's substitute rider, Wataru Yoshikawa, who stood for him at the last round held at Circuit de Catalunya, is travelling to Germany and has been entered as a substitute rider once again.

Valentino was very happy with the test at Brno, as he felt better and more confident compared to the test ride in Misano, though, he felt quite exhausted after a few laps round the track.

" We haven't made the final decision yet, I need to have some more x-rays on Wednesday and then my doctors and I will consider whether I can ride at Sachsenring.", he added.

The Fiat Yamaha Team would like to express their thanks to the Yamaha Italia World Superbike Team for their support and help in providing thier bike for Rossi's tests.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rossi's first test ride

Valentino Rossi completes his test ride at a private test in Misano, Italy, riding the Yamaha YZF-R1 for the first time since breaking his right leg at Mugello on 5th June 2010. The test was to better understand his physical condition from the recovery.

He rode a total of 26 laps at Misano and recorded a best time of 1'38.200. His initial run was 11 laps at 1830 CET with a best time of 1'41.000, then completing the test with a second run of 15 laps at 1945 CET with a best time of 1'38.200 (unofficial times).

The Itallian has made an excellent recovery so far since breaking his right leg at Mugello. Rossi said that this test will help him better understand how the doctors and him will have to work from here and to see how more or less can he ride the bike.

"The test was positive, because I can at least ride, but there was a lot more to a MotoGP race than to a test like this one.", he added.

Riding the motorcycle will help Valentino and his doctors to plan the next stage of his rehabilitation programme in order that he may return to racing as soon as he feels confident to do so.

Rossi expresses that the Superbike provided by the Yamaha World Superbike Team was good and great fun to ride, and he would love to ride it at Sachsenring in 10 days time.

Friday, June 25, 2010

When Elmo Grows up is Coming to Malaysia

When Elmo Grows Up coming to Malaysia

Introducing Abby Cadabby! The newest Muppet on Sesame Street joins Elmo, Zoe, Rosita and all of her furry and feathered friends asking, "WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?" as they prepare for a pageant on Sesame Street.

Get ready to sing cowboy songs, ride the rails and more when Sesame Street Live "When Elmo Grows Up", a VEE Corporation Production, performs at Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil, from Friday, 3rd September through Sunday, 5th September 2010. Tickets for all performances go on Sale on 26 June 2010!

There will be special appearances by Elmo and Cookie Monster at the One Utama's New Wing Main Entrance, presenting you the Sesame Street Live Show tickets at the Ground Event and take a picture with Elmo & Cookie Monster for Free when you purchase the tickets at the roadshow from 26-27 June 2010.

Tickets are also available for purchase online at Axcess Ticketing Outlets. Sesame Street Live "When Elmo Grows Up" is flown specially for audiences in Malaysia by Nishchal Creations and promoting partner Toys 'R Us.

When Elmo Grows Up coming to Malaysia

Don't miss out on the fun filled family activities and special discounts at the Ground Event to be held at One Utama this weekend.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A GT-R One Two at Sepang

The drivers from the Calsonic IMPUL GT-R, Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli, took the win at the Round 4 of the Autobacs SuperGT International Series in Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia last weekend, claiming the win in the GT500 series and overall winners, with a total time of 1:50'54.084.

Team Calsonic IMPUL won the converted EBBRO Pole Position trophy which they gained in the Super Lap Qualifying session on Saturday, placing them first on the starting grid. Initially, the team had difficulties with this season's new 3.4L power plant in the GT-R, and with their strong teamwork and combined forces, led them to the finish line in first.

Tsugio Matsuda mentioned in a post race interview, that he felt that the race was doubtful for a win, but they have managed it with a good combination of speed with his fellow driver, Ronnie Quintarelli and the ever hardworking team members and Team Manager, Hoshino, who gave them a chance at the winter test despite the tight finances.

His teammate, Ronnie Quintarelli, added that nothing can beat this feeling of having won the race, with Tsugio and the team all worked very hard for this achievement.

The second place winner in the GT500 category was secured by the Motul Autech GT-R drivers, Satoshi Motoyama and Benoit Treluyer, completing the the race in 1:51'07.417, whilst Takashi Kogure and Loic Duval brought their Weider HSV-010 to the finish line in third, completing the top three finishers of the GT500 category with a total time of 1:51'10.757.

M7 RE-Amemiya Racing of Mutiara Motors secured their win here at Sepang International Circuit in the GT300 category recording a total time of 1:52'09.593.

Ryo Orime from the M7 RE-Amemiya Mutiara Motors Racing Team expressed his gratitude to our local Malaysian Sponsors, Mutiara Motors, who came out to give their full support last weekend and he is happy to give them this victory in return.

"Trouble developed in our suspensions in the last seven laps, so I had to avoid the curbing, and that slowed my pace by almost 2 seconds per lap. Actually, it was a miracle that I was able to make it to the finish", he added.

The second spot in the GT300 race category went to ARTA Garaiya's Morio Nitta and Shinichi Takagi, 27.625" behind the leader, with Takuto Iguchi and Yuji Kunimoto from the Corolla Axio APR GT team completing the top three finishers with a total lap time of 1:53"00.939.

This year marks the 10th edition of the SuperGT International Series since it was firstly held here at Sepang International Circuit back in 1999. The teams will be heading back to Japan for the Round 5 of this series to be held at the Sugo Circuit from 24-25 July 2010.

More pictures at my flickr site.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rossi Undergoes Successful Operation

Following surgery to repair his broken right leg yesterday afternoon, Valentino Rossi is recovering well at the Centro Traumatologico Orthopedico (CTO) in Florence, Italy.

“Valentino Rossi is recovering well following yesterday’s operation and his morale seems to be high in the circumstances. Tomorrow we will wash and stitch the wound. He has been moved to a more normal room in the hospital and the only requests he has made are for peace and quite, privacy and a television on which to watch today’s race!”, Dr. Roberto Buzzi of the CTO.

Valentino Rossi has suffered a displaced and exposed fracture of his right tibia after crashing in the Morning Practice Session for his home race at the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello last Saturday on 5th June 2010.

The reigning World Champion crashed his Fiat Yamaha M1 at turn thirteen, the fast chicanes at the top of the hill, and was taken immediately to the circuit’s Medical Centre before taken to the Careggi Hospital in Florence by air in a helicopter for a thorough medical run through. He will then be moved to the Centro Traumatologico Orthopedico (CTO), which is close by.

Rossi has undergone an operation that afternoon on his fractured right shinbone after undergoing further medical checks at the Careggi Hospital Emergency Centre and afterwards the CTO in Florence, Italy.

Valentino Rossi undergoes a successful operation who was operated by Dr. Roberto Buzzi of the CTO, assisted by Dr Claudio Costa of the Clinica Mobile.

“We received Valentino Rossi at the Careggi Hospital, where we made detailed checks in order to rule out any other injuries, and the results were satisfactory. We decided to proceed with the surgery for the exposed fracture of the right leg.”, Dr Buzzi making a statement following the 2.5 hour operation.

“We are confident that Valentino will be able to leave the hospital in a week to ten days, able to put weight on the leg with the aid of crutches.”, he added.

Managing Director of the Fiat-Yamaha Motor Racing, Lin Jarvis added, “It was a very sad day today for Yamaha and the Fiat Yamaha Team, seeing Vale in so much pain and seriously injured for the first time in his career. It is especially tough for Vale to have this accident at his home Grand Prix and this will surely be a huge disappointment for him and all his fans at the Mugello Circuit and around the world.”

Source: Fiat-Yamaha Team Press Release

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Showing that power was not everything in an endurance race, Team Ultra Racing won the second edition of the Sepang 1000-kilometre Endurance Race at Sepang International Circuit, winning in sensational style in a 1600cc Toyota Levin machine as it upstaged the higher-powered 1800cc cars.

Featuring Kenny Lee, Christopher John O’Shannessy and Hsiao Tung Wei, the team took 8 hours 32 minutes and 1.455 seconds to cover the 181 laps of the 5.543 kilometre Sepang International Circuit, to cover the required 1,000 kilometres as it led another Class 2 entry, Type R Racing Team, to finish second overall, coming in a lap behind them.

The second edition of the Sepang 1000-kilometre Race was flagged off by Sepang International Circuit (SIC) chairman, Datuk Mokhzani Tun Dr Mahathir, under the rare noon cloudy skies, with Japan’s Juichi Unemoto of Pentagon J’s Racing Team blasting off the grid from pole position as the competition began their 181-lap battle.

Unemoto would have hoped to emulate the achievement of Type R Racing Team, which won the inaugural race last year; virtually leading from start to finish in their awesome Honda Integra DC2 machine in a grid of 52 cars, which in this year, the defending champions featuring the same partnership of Boy Wong, Soh Kee Khoon and Tek Kean Kang in a less powerful Class 2 Honda Civic EK9 race car.

This year’s Sepang 1000-kilometre race sees the dominance of the Class C cars upstaging the higher-powered Class B 1800cc cars.

Singapore based, ST Wangan Racing Team, a partnership of Aloysius Lek, Teh Kian Boon and Desmond Soh, took third place for Class C in another Honda Civic EK9, completing the overall top three winners of this year’s Sepang 1000-kilometre Endurance Race.

The partnership between S. Velumani and Australian Kosi Kalaitzidis in their Proton Satria GTi won the Class 1 for cars between 1601cc and 1900cc as they finished three laps behind Team Ultra Racing, coming in first in Class 1 after finishing fourth overall.

This year’s Sepang 1000-kilometre Race sees 56 cars; beating last year’s grid of 52 cars; which was introduced last year after the revamp of the 12-hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race (MMER).

Talents abound at the Sepang 1000-kilometre Colouring Contest, which was held at the Welcome Centre, Sepang International Circuit’s mall area. There was plenty of fun for the participants and spectators with the A&W Bear Mascot and Malaysia’s Popular Cartoon Characters, Upin and Ipin, appearance, as well as the Japan SuperGT Ambassadors, Mimi and Koko, who held an impromptu dance session with the participants.

There were also inflatables for the children, who had a fun and fabulous time enjoying themselves at the event. Winners of the colouring contest took home medals and hampers sponsored by A&W as well as a one-night stay coupons and buffet dinner or lunch at the Concorde KLIA Hotel.

More pictures at my flickr site.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Round 1 of the 2010 Malaysian Super Series

The Round 1 season 2010 opener of the Bikes Category for the Malaysian Super Series was held at Sepang International Circuit from 28-30 May 2010 seeing it ending good for our local Malaysian Riders.

Rounds 1 & 2 were held on a drying track after an early morning downpour that stopped just one hour before the start of race 1. Suhadi Ali Rahmat, won Race 2 and claimed third place in Race 1 in the Supersports Category.

"I am happy and enjoyed the race. I managed a better setup for my bike in the second race. I found the better racing line which I learned from the 1st race.", Suhadi Ali Rahmat, during a post race interview after the prize presentation of Race 2.

Thai rider, Suhathai Chaemsap took 2nd place while Ahmad Fazli Sham took the final podium in race 2 of the same category. Rathapong Wilairot, the younger brother of Moto2 rider Rathapark, claimed both wins in the Supersports Junior category.

Yasuhiro Kuhara of HKL Racing Team, managed to make a comeback in Race 2, thus sparked and entertained all his fans and his crews as a returning champion for the Superbikes/Superstock Category.

"It was a very tough race today, because in the first race, it was practically wet and my riding skills on a wet track isn't so good. The 2nd race, I hoped for a dry track and it was, but on the second lap, the race was red flagged and I was a little dissapointed with that. At the restart, I focused on the race and managed to push for the win", Yasuhiro Kuhara, smiling after snatching 1st in Race 2 of the Superbikes / Supersports category.

Meanwhile, there were forty nine riders who took part in the Bikerz Cup category. Ahmad Azhar Hamid and Muhammad Faisal Yahya both claimed one win each in the series whilst Mior Aripin snatched 2nd in both races.

In the MSS Cars Category, it was double wins for McCrory and Dilenberg in the Classic Car Club Hong Kong and the Supersixteen races respectfully.

McCrory won both races in the MSS Classic Car Club Hong Kong in his Lotus 7, proving it to be far too powerful for 2nd seeded, Daniel Bilski, to keep up with the pace in his Porsche 911 IROC RSR clone. It was a close battle between the duo throughout Race 1, and although McCrory started in pole, he had to outdo himself to the limit ensuring the win.

"It was very hot hard work. Getting 2nd in both races, I'm happy and with a new personal best time in the first race, but the Lotus (McCrory) was just too quick. I think everyone had fun today and we had a reasonable grid and it was good to see everybody pushing their cars to the limit and we are all pretty tired now", Daniel Bilski.

Bilski agreed that it as a tough race but, was happy with the results securing two podiums that he claimed in both the races.

The round 2 of the Malaysian Super Series will be back at Sepang International Circuit held from 26-27 June 2010.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Autobacs SuperGT 2010 returns to Sepang

Japan's biggest and hottest racing series, The Autobacs Super GT International Series, will be making a return for Round 4 in the racing calendar, to Sepang International Circuit from 18-20 June 2010.

The 2010 Super GT International Series will mark the 10th anniversary of the event being held at the circuit. The race series has come a long way since it was first held at the circuit in June 2000.

"Malaysia is the only country to host the Super GT outside of Japan. When it first came to Malaysia, it was purely a Japanese race series, it was only followed by Japanese race fans and had Japanese sponsors", Razlan Razali, CEO of Sepang International Circuit.

"Now we have a significant number of Super GT followers in Malaysia, and there are many non-Japanese drivers taking part in this race. We also have two Malaysian corporations being part of the two top teams in Super GT, namely Mutiara Motors in GT300 and Petronas TOMS in the GT500 Series.", he added.

The Super GT International Race Series not only is recognised to be held at renowned Japanese tracks such as the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit, The Fuji Speedway and the Suzuka Circuit, it is also long being known among motorsports fans as a powerful combination of dazzling mean machines and their beauty queens.

This year's Super GT International Series would also be featuring support races by the all-new GT4 Asia Cup, the GT3 Asia Series, Yaris/Vios Experience Race in Sepang as well as the environmentally-friendly Scirocco Cup.

In conjunction to the racing event, SIC will be organising the children's pit walkabout on Saturday, 19 June 2010 at 1730hrs. The already eventful Super GT International Series being held at Sepang will also feature the ever exciting Circuit Safari, where fans will be able to get a closer feel and look at the race as they are transported via a low-loader bus doing the laps around the track during the Super GT practice session.

SIC will also be organising a contest where fans will be able to win themselves a ride in the Super GT Official Safety Car, the Nissan GTR-R35, pit passes and circuit safari rides. To qualify, they will have to purchase a minimum of two tickets, answer three simple questions and complete a slogan.

There will also be a charity car wash session at the circuit during the race weekend.

More info, visit SuperGT @ SIC.

source: Media release by Sepang International Circuit.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Asian Festival of Speed

The season's opener of the Asian Festival of Speed was held at Sepang International Circuit from 14-16 May 2010. Fans will get a chance to witness five action packed race series with the GT3 Asia as the Grand Race, with the newly introduced GT4 Asia Cup, Formula BMW Pacific, Asian Touring Car Series and the ever exhilarating Classic Car Club of Hong Kong Race Series completing the action packed schedule of events on track.

Spectators are also entertained with the arrival of an expecting 1000+ cars from various car clubs at the Grandstands area organised in conjunction with AFOS together with Traffic Online Magazine.

Our local Malaysian driver, Mok Weng Sun, had a perfect weekend during the Season's Opener of the GT3 Asia in his home track here, in Sepang. Mok took the chequered flag after completing 15 laps of the 2nd Round of the race 10.698s ahead of second placed driver, Tunku Hammam of Arrows Racing while Team Clearwater Racing's David Lai claimed third.

Fans were also given the opportunity to visit the pit lane during a pit walkabout session which was opened after the AFOS Pre Race Ceremony. Spectators were given the opportunity to get a closer look at the cars and to interact with the drivers as well as the ever lovely promo girls and the arrival of the AFOS Angels.

The pairing of Dilantha and Adrian Henry D'Silva claimed his first ever win in the GT4 Asia Cup in Sepang International Circuit during the season's opener of AFOS.

"It was a fantastic race despite starting the weekend with our 4.7L engine blowing, but the team did a great job of replacing it with a 4.3L engine", D'Silva, during the Post Race Press Conference.

"Dilantha had a phenomenal start and the gap he opened up for me meant I only needed to take the car home safely", he added concluding the Post Race Press Conference.

Singaporean Simon Waters and his teammate Australian, Mark Williamson, finished the GT4 Asia Cup second in their Dynaten Motorsports Aston Martin, while Ryan Marsden of Dynaten Motorsports Aston Martin completing the podium.

The GT4 Asia Cup race rules states that each car needs to pit for a specified period of time, this is calculated by combining the time taken to drive the length of the pitlane at the speed limit and adding it together with a time for the driver change. This equalises the difference between a single driver car and a two driver car. Tactically, teams can either gain time with a fresh driver or risk losing precious time in case of errors during the change.

More info, visit Asian Festival Of Speed online.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Red Bull One Two

"What a day! At the start, I realised that I had a good start past Nico. I was then able to gain on Mark; it's a long sprint down to Turn 1 and I had an advantage, so I took the chance into Turn 1 and made it through!"

Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel, wins the 2010 Formula One PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix here in Sepang after starting from third on the grid with his teammate, Mark Webber coming in Second. Nico Rosberg of the PETRONAS Mercedes GP team completes the top three finishers while Michael Schumacher, his teammate, retired early after 10 laps of the race, due to a loose wheelnut.

It was a wet qualifying on Saturday, seeing none of the Ferraris and McLarens making it to Q3. Webber starts from pole position with Nico Rosberg alongside him. Michael Schumacher only manages to set the 8th fastest while Vitantonio Liuzzi, of Team Force India completes the top 10 starters on the grid.

With the Ferrari and McLaren drivers starting low from the grid, the race in Malaysia was heated up and more exciting as they provided plenty of thrills and overtaking to recover. Felipe Massa finished 7th in the 56 laps of the Malaysian Grand Prix while Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button of the McLaren Mercedes team finishing 6th and 8th respectively.

Fernando Alonso did not managed to the chequered flag when his car's engine blew forcing him to retire on lap 55. More retirements seen at the Malaysian GP, with both drivers of Team BMW-Sauber Ferrari did not finish the race, seeing Pedro De La Rosa, did not start, while Kobayashi retired due to engine problems.

Robert Kubica yet again finished the race and scoring points both for himself and his Renault team, keeps the championship battle more competitive. He finished fourth earning himself and for the team, 12 championship points.

Jaime Alguersuari again drove an excellent race for Toro Rosso and emerged ninth rewarding him 2 points for it, with Nico Hulkenberg taking the final point for Williams, thanks to Fernando Alonso's misfortune.

The race in Malaysia dramatically closes the championship points battle. Massa now leads with 39 points, 2 points clear off teammate Alonso and rival Vettel, with button trailing at 35 points together with Rosberg and Hamilton with 31 points. The constructors' stakes Ferrari still leading with 76 points, but McLaren, now have 66 points, Red Bull 61, Mercedes 44 and Renault 30.

Click here for the Malaysian Grand Prix's selected team and driver quotes.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Unveilling of the Malaysian GP Trophy

Sepang International Circuit finally unveils the 2010 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix's trophy here today, with only less than a week left to the major motorsports event to be held in Malaysia.

The trophy was designed and sculptured by Royal Selangor inspired by the checkered flag and the curved shape gives a sense of acceleration and movement. The trophy will be the first sculptured F1 trophy for Malaysia.

"This year, unlike previous editions where we have the drivers' parade, we decided to organise the Student's interview with Formula One drivers, which will be held before the drivers presentation on the starting grid.", SIC CEO, Razlan Razali.

"The drivers will be introduced to the students by the emcee and each student will have the opportunity to ask them one team a question. The ballot draw will decide which student will get which driver or team for the interview session.", he added.

There are also the Formula One classic cars on display here specially flown down by MAS Kargo at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and KLIA. The opening ceremony of the 2010 Formula One Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix itself will be an exhilarating event, with a spectacular air show display by the RMAF and Malaysia's own break-dancers performing to entertain the crowd at the circuit.

Some changes to the access of the events held includes the Children's Pit Walk, enabling any parent or guardian with children gain free access to the pit area, an opportunity to see where the teams prepare for the race, autograph session on Sunday at the General Mall Area and the post race concert featuring Wyclef Jean and Fatboy Slim, sponsored by Digi.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fiat-Yamaha MotoGP Test at Qatar

The Fiat Yamaha Team riders, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, concludes their pre-season preparation with another strong performance in the humid Qatar night, both coming in second and sixth fastest. This will be the last time the riders will be on track before the first race, back here, in three weeks time.

Rossi has been concentrating largely on finalising his race preparation today, also finding time to try a new tyre compound for Bridgestone. He completed 20 laps in a long run late in the evening with the aim of gathering more information for the race, which will help the team during the practice sessions when they return here.

"This has been another good day. We've concentrated mostly on the race preparation and it feels like we're now ready for the first race.", Valentino Rossi, setting it 2nd fastest with 1'55.860" at the Losail Circuit, Qatar.

He added that he feels the M1 is great and looking forward to racing it.

Lorenzo continued to make progress and to push as hard as his injured hand would allow, the Spaniard managing to test some new electronic settings amongst other things and improve on his time from Test 1 in Qatar, yesterday. He still felt some pain in the hard braking areas and needed to take a painkilling pill, but he was happy to finish sixth in the circumstances and is confident that he will be back to full form in time for the race.

Lorenzo highlighted, "Today, my hand felt okay, maybe a bit worse than yesterday. Our bike is great, Yamaha have done a fantastic job and you can see this from the strong performance of all the Yamaha riders."

The MotoGP season's opener will take place at Losail, Qatar, on the 9th-11th April 2010.

source: The Fiat Yamaha Team Press Release

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rossi tops the time-sheets at Sepang Test 2

Alvaro Bautista of The Rizla Suzuki Team

Track temperature's up to 37oC, putting the bikes and riders to a real test before the 2010 MotoGP starts in Qatar on 11th April 2010.

Valentino Rossi signed off the 2010 MotoGP's Second official pre-season test at Sepang today topping the time sheets yet again, with a fastest lap time of 2'00.271" on 25th February and 2'01.068" on the 26th, smashing Sepang's lap record.

"I'm really happy to have beaten my pole record, it's a good feeling to be first in testing. I did this with an old tyre but we also got the chance to try a very good new tyre from Bridgestone today, which, I hope we will use from the first race.", Valentino Rossi.

Valentino Rossi of the Fiat-Yamaha Racing Team

Rossi looks forward to the next and final pre-season test to be held in Qatar, by which time Rossi's injured team-mate, Jorge Lorenzo hopes to have made full recovery and to be back in action due to an injured wrist obtained during training.

"Now, we go to Qatar and then we will see our level because it is not one of mine or Yamaha's best tracks! But, we're in great shape and this is very important at this stage of the season. I'm really looking forward to it.", Rossi added.

Casey Stoner came in second fastest in the second official pre-season test here in Sepang setting it at 2'00.512" with his team-mate Nicky Hayden of the Ducati Marlboro Team setting it third fastest with 2'00.703".

Ben Spies of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Colin Edwards and Ben Spies of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team shines in Malaysia when they managed to come in fourth and fifth fastest respectively completing the top five for the two day test in Sepang International Circuit. Ben Spies proved himself, once again, what a phenomenally fast learner he is, after posting a series of consistently competitive lap times round the circuit.

Marco Simoncelli ended his test early here in Sepang, after a crash at turn 7 at the Sepang International Circuit. The 2008 250cc World Champion suffered a mild concussion following from the crash, was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Alvaro Bautista making his exit from the Pit Garage

Capirossi manages to complete the test in Sepang with the new promising Rizla Suzuki GSV-R engine, happy, after an encouraging result. Both Capirossi and rookie in the premier class, Alvaro Bautista, are both happy with the progress that they have achieved during the test in Sepang.

Dani Pedrosa at Sepang International Circuit

Press release courtesy from The Fiat Yamaha Team. Reference from and