Circuit Length: 5.1 km
Experiencing a difficult start in the opening lap, both Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Jakub Kornfeil immediately dropped back through the Moto3 field to 24th and 28th place.
Regaining his rhythm Kornfeil began to work his way back into the fight for the points. Lapping at the same pace as the leaders the Czech rider battled throughout the twenty lap race, but unable to regain positions lost, had to settle for fourteenth place at the finish line.
After showing strength throughout the weekend, Zulfahmi Khairuddin’s Grand Prix ended in frustration for the Malaysian rider, with a technical issue on the #63 KTM machine forcing him to retire from the race.
“This was definitely not the result we wanted, or expected today. We’ve had a very good weekend up until now; in practice both riders have showed improvement and consistency. Throughout qualifying they both had good pace but in warm up this morning we experienced some issues. The riders didn’t feel comfortable with the cooler track temperature and they didn’t do well, even though we had the bikes set-up exactly like we did yesterday. In the race both riders made a pretty bad start. Jakub also made a mistake going into turn four and a lot of riders passed him; he tried to fight back but he had already dropped down the field. We were looking for a top ten result with him today, so it’s very disappointing. I’m not happy at all with the way he rode today; he’s experienced and been doing this for many years so he really needs to ride better and fight harder. Fahmi unfortunately had very bad luck and for this I am very sorry for him. He experienced an issue with the bike from the start of the race and this forced him to stop. There was absolutely nothing Fahmi could do. It’s a real shame for him because he’s been doing a great job all weekend. I really think he could have scored points here today. Now we have to move forward from this and look to Japan; we will fight hard until the end.”
“I’m really disappointed with the result today. I’ve felt so good on the bike all weekend, so it’s very frustrating that it has ended like this. My qualifying position was okay and with the set-up I had I felt really confident. However as the race started I immediately knew something wasn’t right with the bike. I tried to push but it was so hard and I slipped back through the field. I didn’t want to just stop so I kept going but the problem just got worse. Many riders were able to pass me. With seven laps to go I knew I couldn’t do anymore; I had no choice but to retire from the race. Of course I am disappointed but on the positive side I’m feeling a lot happier with the set-up we have found here. I hope now to just put this behind me and focus on Japan. I believe we have a good competitive bike and I know I can battle for the points; we just need a little luck on our side too.”
“My start was not the best and already at the first corner I arrived in around fifteenth position. I wanted to go through the guys and make up for this but unfortunately I made a mistake into corner four; I went completely out of the track and in the moment that I was coming back another rider pushed me back out again. I lost a lot of positions from this moment and so I had to build my race again from twenty eighth place. After all of this I lost a little bit concentration and I didn’t ride my best for another four or five laps. I managed to get back into a rhythm and started to push as hard as I could. I set my fastest lap in the race and I caught the group fighting for the points. It was not easy to battle with the other riders but I knew I had to just try my best. It was a hard fight; every time I passed someone, they would just pass me straight back. I was angry because the Honda’s always passed me on the straight; they would never try in the corners. This is why I couldn’t make more progress through the group. In the last three laps I tried even more but there were riders everywhere; every single corner there was a fight, it was crazy. Of course to start twelfth and finish fourteenth is not what we wanted, so I’m sorry to the team for this. In the end we have some more points, which is good, so now we must continue to build on this at the next three back-to-back races overseas.”