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MotoGP Highlights – Malaysia, Japan and Australia

Last month saw the last three events of MotoGP World Championship 2012 before the ultimate showdown at Gran Premio Generali de La Comunitat Valenciana in Valencia. Some interesting developments including Malaysia’s first racer in pole position made it into our October highlights which feature the best tidbits of the season.

MotoGP Malaysia

Zulfahmi Khairuddin, or affectionately known as Fahmi, created history by becoming the first ever Malaysian to step foot on the World Championship podium after finishing second at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang in October. It was indeed the best birthday present for the youngster who turned 21 a day before on 20th October 2012.

     Fahmi made his dream come true when he took the first podium position of his career in front of his home crowd at Sepang circuit.

Fahmi looking confident as he is powering on to the front

     He made a great start from pole at and had a chance for victory before Sandro Cortese, who secured his championship, passed him on the last lap.

    Fahmi´s first victory was really close as Cortese crossed the finish line only 28 thousandth of seconds before him. Fahmi wasn´t upset about losing the victory and there wasn´t really any reason to as he rode stunningly during the whole weekend on his home circuit.

     “I am really glad!” Fahmi rejoiced, “I knew that my pace is good enough to fight for the victory. In the end I had a good battle with Sandro. But I decided to settle for the second place as there is always a risk that one will crash in situations like this.”

     “Now it´s time to enjoy this second position. I thank my team and all those who have supported me, especially my fans.”

From left to right: Fahmi, Sandro Cortese and Jonas Folger on the winners’ podium

     Tony Fernandes said, “This is truly a triumph not only for Fahmi but also Malaysia and Asean as there has never been a rider from the region who has been on a MotoGP podium before. Fahmi is a testament of someone who dared to dream and never take no for an answer. With passion, grit and determination, in just three short years he has grown from a wildcard rider to a top three race contender in the world championship.”

     “AirAsia is proud to have been there for Fahmi right from the start of his MotoGP career and we will continue to support him as well as the development of youth and sports in the region to ensure that talents like Fahmi will be given a chance to grow and shine in the world stage.”

Tony Fernandes congratulated Fahmi at the starting grid of the Malaysian MotoGP

MotoGP Japan

MotoGP fans in Japan were given a “red” race weekend in Motegi as AirAsia presented the AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan from October 11 to 14, 2012. Throughout the weekend, the Twin Ring Motegi circuit was painted red with AirAsia branding and was completed with AirAsia flight attendants who were around to interact and pose with fans. The race was the 15th edition on the MotoGP World Championship calendar for the 2012 season and the first of two races in Asia.

Alex Rins (42) and Fahmi (63) battling it out at Motegi

     Fans witnessed three thrilling and exhilarating races with Danny Kent scoring his maiden victory in the Moto3 category followed by Maverick Vinales and Alessandro Tonucci. Racing for Team AirAsia-SIC-Ajo Motorsport is none other than Malaysia’s sole competitor in the MotoGP, Fahmi.

AirAsia’s flight attendants posing with Fahmi during the Japanese MotoGP 2012

MotoGP Australia

AirAsia Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix has shaped up to be one of the biggest racing events of the year, having recorded 100 thousands crowds on the 26 to 28 October 2012. This league will be Casey Stoner’s last race on home soil after earlier this year announcing he will retire at the end of the current MotoGP World Championship season.

Riders rounding corners at the picturesque Phillip Island circuit

     All eyes were on Casey Stoner as he was aiming for his sixth successive win at the Australian Grand Prix. Fans were not disappointed, as Stoner was in the lead within three laps and dominated until the chequered flag.

     “It was very important for me to win a race before the end of the season and I’m really happy to do it here, at home, in front of the huge crowd. This was the perfect way to say goodbye here. I was pretty nervous going into the race but the conditions were fantastic for a Phillip Island race. Thanks to everyone for coming down and showing their support!” said Casey Stoner.

A sweet ending for Casey Stoner’s final Australian MotoGP

     Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo was crowned 2012 MotoGP World Champion after taking second after Casey Stoner. The Spanish wrapped up a season of domination at Australia to claim his second MotoGP World Championship title and became Spain’s first-ever double premier-class Grand Prix Champion.

     MotoGP enthusiasts also enjoy more on and off track entertainment than ever before with the addition of the Australian Supercross Championships, the new MotoGP Fan Forum, the Globe of Death, Flair Moto Trials and more.

An exciting race in the series’ crucial penultimate round

     A chance of a lifetime to win a one of a kind AirAsia KTM 1190 RC8 worth $27,000 from major sponsors AirAsia and KTM was offered to the fans who were there for the MotoGP weekend. All they had to do was to grab an AirAsia Passport at the AirAsia booth and have their passport stamped at Checkpoints located around the Phillip Island circuit area.