OneXOX TKKR racing team's mission to end podium drought in JasinSINAR DAILY REPORTER
JASIN: Luck may not have been on their side despite early season promise, but the OneXOX TKKR racing team have all the ingredients to challenge in both the top classes in the Petronas Malaysian Cub Prix Championship 2023 where Round 3 in Jasin, Melaka this weekend sees the team determined to end their podium drought.
Their challenge in the premier CP150 class will be led by veteran Md Muzakkir Mohamed who while stating his disappointment over their failure to register podium finishes in the opening two rounds of the championships thus far, has promised an all-out battle in the new-look Jasin street circuit this weekend.
"I arrived here early in the morning with the team. This time the feeling is quite different compared to previously, not because it is a new track, but it is a new track layout. So, it is different from the Jasin street circuit that we had raced on in 2019," said Muzakkir.
"My first impression is that we are excited. When we arrived here and had a look at the track, not just myself but everybody is excited because it looks spacious and wide.
We definitely won't find barricaded temporary street circuits which are this spacious as this one. I think this is the most spacious and wide street circuit in the Malaysian Cub Prix Championship.
"It is also quite long with uphill and downhill sectors, so this makes me really excited and I can't wait to try it out in the first practice session tomorrow," added the 31-year old who topped the premier class in 2021.
Having started the season on a high after setting the lap record in qualifying in Round 1 at the Sepang Circuit in February, Muzakkir failed to match that in the race, finishing eighth and then finished fourth in Round Two in Jempol.
This places Muzakkir in fourth in the championship standings with 21 points, 14 points behind leader Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin of Petronas Sprinta Yamaha Maju Motor.
"Our target for the season is yet to be achieved and we have failed to register podium finishes in both the CP150 and CP125 classes.
This is something that brings added pressure to the whole team. I know everyone in the team have given everything they can, so this weekend we will go all-out to do whatever we can to achieve the target.
The rest we have to leave it to fate, Insya Allah, if it is our fate to be there we will be there and there are no more excuses for us to not achieve that," said Muzakkir.
"My victory in Round 2 of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship last week has also injected the impetus and momentum to go for another victory this weekend," he added.
The team's challenge in the CP125 class will be led by 26-year old Hafiza Rofa, who equally expressed his excitement over the circuit layout and intentions of ending the team's podium drought in Jasin.
"The track layout is quite interesting as it combines high-speed corners with tight corners. This is where riders need to make decisions with regards to which setup to use and what changes need to be made, particularly to the suspension," said Hafiza, who added that his target was not just to finish on the podoium but to win the race on Sunday.
Hafiza is fourth in the CP125 standings with 21 points, 17 behind championship leader Md Khairi Asyraf Mahmood of the Jetron Yamaha YY Pang Racing Team.
"We have a big target this weekend because we have missed the podium in the first two rounds of the season. My target is to win here because we have run some tests and we are going to try for the top spot on the podium in CP125," he said.