Hafizh Syahrin will start Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit from sixth row following a difficult qualifying session.
The 22-year old clocked his best lap in 2’00.176s in 16th place. Despite track conditions being the same, Hafizh was unable to replicate his practice form that saw him break through the two minute barrier due to poor grip levels. He will start the 20-lap race next to Spain’s Edgar Pons and Luis Salom.
“The bike was not the same as the previous session,” said Hafizh. “I came in early to try and improve the situation. Changes were made and new tyres fitted but it only made small difference. We have to look closely and fix the issues before the race”
Meanwhile German Jonas Folger set a new pole record early in 1’59.052s with Sam Lowes and Alex Rins locking out front row having timed 1’59.124s and 1’59.354s respectively.
A testament to the PETRONAS Talent Development programme, Hafizh remains the most successful Malaysian competing in MotoGP after finishing at the 16th position last year out of 28 riders with 64 points, moving up by three positions from his debut season in 2014.
His progressive achievements are closely attributed to PETRONAS’ early involvement in his career. Since he was 13 years old, Hafizh has been consistently supported by PETRONAS through every step of his journey — from Cub Pri
x, to the Asia Road Racing Championship, the Spanish National Championship, and right up to where he is today in Moto2.
Barry Leong, PETRONAS Raceline Malaysia team manager: “We are analyzing what went wrong during qualifying. It was quite disappointing as we had a good run during the test and practice sessions. There was no major setup changes made and we were looking to do better and improve further. Let’s hope that everything will be fixed before the race”
- Jonas Folger (GER) 1’59.052s
- Sam Lowes (GBR) 1’59.124s
- Alex Rins (SPA) 1’59.354s
- Johann Zarco (FRA) 1’59.419s
- Franco Morbidelli ITA) 1’59.509s
- Hafizh Syahrin (MAS) 2’00.176s