KUALA LUMPUR: Sepang International Circuit (SIC) have hinted that Zulfahmi Khairuddin’s replacement who will compete in Moto2 under the SIC Racing outfit must have experience racing in the second tier of MotoGP racing or has at least raced in the World Youth Motorcycle Championship (CEV).
SIC chief executive officer, Datuk Razlan Razali said that they will start looking for Zulfahmi’s replacement as soon as possible, and that it might not necessarily be a local rider who gets the nod especially since the next race being the French Grand Prix in Le Mans, France is just around the corner next week.
"We will scrutinise the options, or rather choices that we have for Zulfahmi’s replacement,” said Razlan.
“We hope to find a suitable rider who has experience racing in Moto2 or one who has raced in the World Youth Motorcycle Championship.
"Moto2 is a very aggressive race series and we need to be very meticulous in picking the right rider who is capable, one who is not tied down (with a contract or other commitments), and it could end up being a local or foreign rider.
"We hope to be able to make an announcement about this sometime this week.”
Yesterday (Tuesday), Zulfahmi confirmed that last week’s Spanish Grand Prix was his last race for the SIC Racing team. Zulfahmi had joined the team in February as a replacement for Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah who moved up to the premier class of MotoGP by joining the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team.
The 26-year-old rider came to the mutual decision that was made after a discussion with the team’s management as he found himself struggling to adapt to the demands of racing in Moto2 which differs to Moto3 and the Superbike World Championship (WSBK)which he has competed in prior to this.
For the record, Zulfahmi struggled after leaving competitive racing for a long time, managing 28th place in the Qatar Grand Prix season opener in March, 26th place in the Argentina Grand Prix and 27th in the Grand Prix of the Americas in the United States.
In the fourth race of the season at last week’s Spanish Grand Prix, Zulfahmi endured technical problems with his machine’s gearing which caused him to fall off his bike.