Round 1 – Preview
Zulfahmi Khairuddin #supportfahmi63
“I like Phillip Island because it has a lot of fast corners and is a real ‘rider’s track’. The grip is good and it is fun to ride – as long as you have a good set-up. It is not a hard track to learn, but you need to be brave and have the correct lines to go fast. I don’t think that it is very technical, but it is the kind of track where you need to have really good control of the bike – especially in the fast corners. For me, it’s a real fun track to ride and the scenery is beautiful. I have only ridden there before on a Moto3 bike, so I will have to learn how to manage my Kawasaki. Once I do that, I think it will be very enjoyable and a lot of fun.”
“I think Phillip Island is a very nice track because it has fast and slow corners and is great fun to ride. It has always liked me and I feel comfortable racing there. I think the Kawasaki can work very well there and I am really looking forward to my first time out there on this bike. For me, it is a technical track, because of the range of fast and slow corners, and you need a good set-up so that you can find the best racing line. There are lots of places where you can make up time if you know what you are doing, but if you don’t know what are doing, or do not have the right line, it’s also easy to lose time.”
Team Owner – Jose Calero
“Orelac Racing VerdNatura has history in the WSS class - for Nacho this will be the fourth year. It is a great class to be part of because it is challenging and very exciting to watch and, although it is very competitive and hard, it can also be very rewarding. The new rules make it more affordable and I think it is a great class for young riders to show their potential.
I think Orelac is the only Spanish team fielding a Spanish rider and that is a great honour as well as a great responsibility. Spanish riders are known worldwide for their speed and for winning championships, so the challenge is there for sure.
Orelac stopped directly participating at the end of 2012, but decided to enter again after the team Nacho signed on for at the start of 2015 was unable to continue the season after the first race in Phillip Island. That was really sort of an emergency situation in order to give Nacho the possibility to finish the season he started. Clearly the work is much more involving now because the team has grown exponentially in comparison to last season. I believe we are ready to approach the coming season properly but, in racing, the work never stops.
Orelac Racing started in 2008 with Nacho racing in the STK 600 with a small truck, one mechanic, me, and a lot of passion. The team is now much bigger and more challenging to manage, but we have very good people and so I feel very good about it - even though it can be difficult at times. If it were easy, everybody would do it! We know this season is definitely not going to be easy, but although the team is new at this level, the people behind it have a lot of experience.”
Team Manager – Giulio Bardi
“I think Nacho will do well this year. He is training hard and really focusing on his riding. Let’s not forget he was on the podium a few times in the STK 600 class, challenging for victory against some very fast guys. The transition to WSS wasn’t easy and a few injuries didn’t help. The Supersport class is a very tough class to be in, but he’s very committed and the first test in Jerez showed the work he’s done in the winter is paying off, so I expect good races from him.
Fahmi has come from Moto3, so he will have to adapt to WSS and get used to the extra weight and the handling and power of a much bigger bike. Having said that, I think he will adapt fast to all those differences. He is a very good and experienced rider and knows what it takes to be at the front. I believe he may surprise many people, given a bit of time. He will have to learn a lot of the tracks this year, but my experience tells me that if the rider feels comfortable on the bike and with the team, the learning process goes much quicker. The new time schedule on Friday (two one hour sessions) gives us a bit more time for the initial setup and I think we’ll be able to take advantage of that.
Everybody in Orelac Racing VerdNatura is working hard and really looking forward to this project. Hopefully we will start the year on a very positive note and go on from there.”