KUALA LUMPUR: A battle-scarred Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah found the going tough on the opening day of the Spanish Motorcycle Grand Prix today.
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider was well off the pace in the opening free practice session (FP1) with his one minute and 42.074 second lap seeing him come in last from 25 riders at the Jerez circuit. Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso topped FP1 on 1:39.268s.
The Ampang-born was still far from his best in FP2 though he showed decent improvement to move up to 23rd after clocking 1:40.488s as Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) topped the timesheets on 1:38.614s.
The MalaysIan rookie had made a bright start to the season, finishing 14th in Qatar and ninth in Argentina. The third round in Texas was, however, a nightmare for Hafizh as he suffered two bruising crashes in the warmup and the race.
To make matters worse, Hafizh suffered a high speed crash on his bicycle during a training ride earlier this week and sustained substantial cuts and bruises to his bottom and elbow. However, he vowed to battle through the pain barrier in Jerez.
Hafizh admitted that he struggled with the pain but is optimistic of the weekend ahead.
“I feel good with the bike, but my condition is not at 100 per cent, because I still feel the pain on the left side of my upper leg. I try to gain confidence on the M1 (bike) despite this (injury) and also try to find a good position on it, as it disturbs me a little bit while controlling the power of the machine,” said Hafizh.
"Anyway, my sensations on the bike are very good, for the moment it’s only me. I need to be more prepared and try to rest a bit now in order to be able to give my best tomorrow.”
Teammate Johan Zarco was seventh in FP1 (1:39.518s) and improved to third in FP2 (1:38.705s).