The DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team concluded a positive first day on track at their home Grand Prix in Sepang, with both riders consecutively finishing within the top twelve.
Zulfahmi Khairuddin made a good start to morning practice despite initially struggling with his feeling on the #63 KTM machine. Pushing on, the Malaysian rider worked hard to build his pace throughout free practice one, concluding the session in a positive tenth position. Following some small set-up changes, Fahmi continued to make good progress in the second practice of the day, further improving his time by nearly half a second.
Looking strong from the start Jakub Kornfeil immediately got up to speed, remaining within the top five throughout the forty minute morning practice. Focussing on improving his feeling on the #84 bike, Kornfeil used the afternoon’s session to test his set-up with new tyres, but was unable to further improve his time. Despite experiencing similar concerns as his teammate, the Czech rider showed good form on used tyres and remains confident ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying.
Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Friday 23rd October
Circuit: Sepang International Circuit
Circuit Length: 5.5 km
Bike #63 – Zulfahmi Khairuddin
FP1: P10; 2’15.053 (DRY) – 14 laps
FP2: P12; 2’14.663 (DRY) –14 laps
Bike #84 – Jakub Kornfeil
FP1: P5; 2’14.419 (DRY) – 14 laps
FP2: P11; 2’14.588 (DRY) – 14 laps
#63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin
“This morning I didn’t feel so great with the bike; I think it was a combination of both myself and our settings, because I’m quite sure I can improve some corners with my riding and then with others I think we have to see what we can do with the bike. We’re still looking for one second because tomorrow is going to be fast for everybody. I think the base set-up is there we just need to make a couple of small adjustments. When I did my 2m14.6s lap time, I expected to be further back in the position, so to find out I was twelfth was quite good. Overall it has not been the easiest day but we are heading in the right direction.”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil
“First practice today went well as I was immediately fast and I stayed in the top five throughout the session. Although I was able to get up to speed quickly, it was not easy; the bike felt aggressive and quite difficult to ride. In the afternoon we made some changes but unfortunately this made it harder to control. The bike is moving quite a lot, so I’m not pushing how I want. I’m losing the front and this is restricting me from carrying the speed into the corner. If we can find a solution for this, I know we can do well in qualifying. I feel good in myself and what I can do, we just need to fine tune our set-up, particularly with the new tyre. Strangely I am a lot faster on a used tyre at this moment. If we can solve this and find more grip, for sure we can go a lot faster. We will work on the set-up this evening but I’m confident we can improve for tomorrow.”