For Zaqhwan, it’s now the real thing at US circuitPOSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 10 April 2015
MALAYSIA’S JPMoto motorcycle racing team and its sole rider Zaqhwan Zaidi will be entering the unknown when they start practice for this weekend’s Moto2 world championship round at the United States circuit in Austin, Texas.
Unlike the opening round in Qatar, the Circuit of the Americas will be a totally new experience for Zaqhwan in his Moto2 rookie season.
While the young Malaysian had raced at Losail in Qatar when competing in the Asia Road Racing Championship, Zaqhwan has only watched races at Austin on television and playing video games.
He faces a massive challenge considering the limited hours and laps on his Suter bike he has had so far during pre-season testing.
When Zaqhwan looked back at his overall performance at the opening round in Qatar, where he finished 23rd and last of the running bikes, he admitted that there are still plenty of things that he needed to learn and improve to be competitive against his more experienced countrymen such as Petronas Raceline’s Hafizh Syahrin and Azlan Shah who rides for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia.
Zaqhwan admitted that he is still learning about the full potential of his bike which was very different from his 600cc Supersports machine.
The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas takes place between the 10-12 April, with practice on the Friday, qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.
“The priority will be to learn on the characteristics of Austin racing circuit as much as possible and as early as possible. Hence, I am praying for good weather to ensure that I made as many laps as possible in free practice.”
“The team now has a better understanding of the bike after the opening race and I expect that they would be making some adjustments to make us stronger.”
Team manager Raja Zaini Mohamad Nor said it was important the team learned from their Qatar experiences and improve on the Qatar finish.
“The team is better ready this time. Our main worry is the weather in Austin. Forecast says that it will rain this weekend.”