The third round of the Moto2 World Championship was a race to forget for Hafizh Syahrin after he finished outside the points at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on Sunday.
Despite COTA being one of his favourite tracks, Hafizh’s campaign there did not materialize as he was hampered by tyre issues that caused massive front chatter, making it impossible for the young Malaysian to improve his lap time and position during the race.
In the end the PETRONAS Talent Development rider had to settle for P16, rounding up the grueling 19-lap battle in 41’51.515s which saw him drop to ninth overall in the standings with 23 points.
“I am disappointed with the result as I know I could have done better,” said Hafizh Syahrin. “I pushed hard at the start and was at P11 and I wanted to keep pace with the frontrunners and fight my way through the field. Unfortunately the front tyre was giving problems at all right turns and I almost crashed at a few places due to excessive front chatter. Thank you to the team for working hard by giving me the best bike to fight with in the past three races. We will continue to work and always give our best in the upcoming rounds.”
Meanwhile Spaniard, Alex Rins dominated the field to steal a commanding victory in 41’22.174s ahead of Britain’s Sam Lowes and reigning world champion, Johann Zarco.
Barry Leong, PETRONAS Raceline Malaysia team manager: “The tyre problem is back to haunt us and this time it was the front. We had plenty of problem last year but it has always been the rear. Although we do a thorough check on every tyre that we received, sometime things like these do happen. Hopefully, everything will be ok once we start the European rounds.”
The team will now head back to Europe where Jerez is set to host Round 4 of the Moto2 World Championshipthis 24th April.
Moto2 Combined Race Results:
1. Alex Rins (SPA) 41’22.174s
2. Sam Lowes (GBR) 41’24.265s
3. Johann Zarco (FRA) 41’29.911s
4. Dominique Aegerter (SWI) 41’30.820s
5. Jonas Folger (GER) 41’30.965s
16. Hafizh Syahrin (MAS) 41’51.515s
Moto2 World Championship standings:
1. Sam Lowes (GBR) 47 points
2. Alex Rins (SPA) 46points
3. Johann Zarco (FRA) 45 points
4. Thomas Luthi (SWI) 43 points
5. Dominique Aegerter (SWI) 35 points
9. Hafizh Syahrin (MAS) 23 points