The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) 2016 Fassi Malaysian Round last weekend at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) was an event to remember for Malaysians and international visitors alike.
The sole Malaysian rider in the FIM Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP), Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin took 2nd place, marking history in Malaysian motorsports by being the first Malaysian rider to achieve a podium finish in the WorldSBK. Fahmi, riding for Team Orelac Racing VerdNatura, took the lead in 9 out of 14 laps in a relentless battle with eventual winner Ayrton Badovini, losing out on the final corner to come in second place. Euphoric fans in the stands were full of thunderous applause when the chequered flag was raised and Fahmi crossed the finish line just 0.050s behind 1st placed Badovini who was representing Gemar Balloons – Team Lorini.
Fans also witnessed a spectacular WorldSBK race despite wet conditions with Nicky Hayden taking his first ever win in WorldSBK for the Honda World Racing team. Fondly known as the ‘Kentucky Kid’, he took charge of the pack in tricky weather conditions. Behind him was a wheel-to-wheel battle for 2nd place between Davide Giugliano of the Aruba.It – Ducati Racing team and Jonathan Rea of the Kawasaki Racing team. The challenge saw Giugliano finally taking 2nd place and Rea finishing 3rd at the chequered flag. Another notable highlight in the WorldSBK at Sepang was Tom Sykes’ record-breaking Tissot-Superpole feat, whereby Sykes beat the previous Best Lap record by Sylvain Guintoli in 2014 by more than seven-tenths of a second.
Dato’ Razlan Razali, Chief Executive Officer of SIC said, “The WorldSBK this weekend turned out to be another exciting one to remember for the more than 23,000 spectators here in Sepang. We would like to thank our sponsors for their support and the vendors for their continued participation in offering a variety of activities and promotions to visitors. Motorsports enthusiasts can be assured that we always look forward to offering more opportunities to experience adrenaline-pumping races.”
Motorsports fans and more casual visitors alike were offered a range of exciting promotions and activities set up at the mall area. The Paddock Show hosted by Michael Hill took fans through the happenings on the track over the weekend. The highly talented freestyle stunt rider Aaron Twite did not fail to impress excited fans in the stunt shows. Other supporting activities were also a big hit with visitors, including the riders’ autograph session, pit lane walk, bikers’ parade and many more. Fans were especially thrilled to meet their favourite WorldSBK riders at the riders’ autograph session.
This will not be the end of the adrenaline rush at Sepang Circuit. Motorsports fans can look forward to the 2016 Formula 1 Malaysia Grand Prix from 30 September to 2 October 2016 followed by a bigger Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix 2016 happening from 28 to 30 October 2016.
For more information on upcoming activities at Sepang International Circuit, please visit www.sepangcircuit.com.