“This trophy is for Malaysia!”.
That was how young Malaysian rider Syarifuddin Azman reacted after emerging victorious at the FIM CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship in Barcelona, Spain, last night.
The 19-year-old SIC Racing rider said all the hard work put by him and the team, paid off with the maiden win despite having started from the 10th grid.
“We have worked so hard to find the right bike setup all weekend and it was all worth it. I would like to say thanks to my family, sponsors, team and friends. This trophy is for Malaysia.
“I am content and thankful for today. I won the first race but unfortunately, I crashed in the second race after another rider crashed into me,” he said a statement.
Nicknamed Damok, the Selangor-born emerged victorious after crossing the chequered flag in 29 minutes and 32.553 seconds in the 74.5-kilometre race, beating Spaniards David Munoz Rodriguez and Jose Antonio Rueda Ruiz to second and third places respectively.
However, luck was not on his side in Race 2 when he crashed out in the 11th lap.
The 25 points from the win helped Syarifuddin climb up to 10th place in the world championship standings with 31 points after five races, while Daniel Holgado of the Junior Aspar Team, who have won other four races this season, remains intact at the top with 113 points.
In the Moto2 Race 2, despite starting off from the 20th place, Adam Norrodin came close to a podium finish, settling for fourth place in a time of 30:22.746s, after crashing out in the 12th lap of Race 1.
The European Talent Cup (ETC) witnessed Sharul Ezwan Mohd Sharil grabbing the 14th spot, completing 15 laps in 28:40.727s, while Muhammad Hakim Danish Ramli was placed 19th in a time of 28:41.672s.
Meanwhile, Team Manager Zulfahmi Khairuddin is happy with the progress shown by the Malaysian young riders in the talent development championship, aiming towards the MotoGP World Championship.
“It has been an amazing day for us at SIC Racing where Damok won the first race, I am happy with the progress he did this week. For Adam, is not an easy weekend because he struggled with the bike, we couldn’t find the right bike setup for him this weekend.
“This is an important experience for Hakim Danish to race with the other European riders. All in all, it was a positive weekend and hopefully, we can keep this momentum for our next race,” he said referring to the next round of the championship at The Algarve International Circuit, Portugal on July 4.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican congratulated Damok’s achievement through his social media platform.
“Congratulations Syarifuddin Azman!
“His brave action in the last round has resulted in him emerging as the champion of the Moto3 Junior World Championship in Barcelona.
“Let’s give our support to him. Congratulations Syarifuddin, maintain performance, FULL GAS for next race,” he posted on Facebook. — Bernama