The Grand Prix de la República Argentina saw DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team rider Jakub Kornfeil secure more points today as he crossed the line in a hard fought fourteenth place.
Making a good start, Kornfeil quickly got involved with the leading pack. Consistently lapping in the 1m49s lap times, the Czech man battled hard to work his way through the riders ahead. Whilst provisionally holding seventh place, an unfortunate mistake at turn twelve saw Kornfeil drop down to fifteentH. Determined to regain positions Kornfeil immediately got back up to pace but having lost the tow from the group ahead was unable to close the gap, crossing the line in fourteenth, just 2.3s off second place.
Making a strong start teammate Zullfahmi Khairuddin launched himself through the field, claiming eight positions in the opening lap. Pushing hard the Malaysian rider made a mistake on lap two, resulting in him running off track. Re-joining the race Fahmi rode his way back through to twentieth place as the chequered flag came out.
Argentina – Sunday 19th April
Circuit: Termas de Río Hondo
Circuit Length: 4.8 km
#63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin – P20
“Today I had the best start in my career; in the first lap I was up to twenty. In the second lap I made a mistake. I pushed a lot the rear brake and went off the track and many riders then passed me. When I re-joined I pushed as hard as I could and was able to catch back those I had originally passed but this meant I finished twentieth. This is not what we expect or what we will settle for. We will keep working like we did here and I will focus more on my riding. I think we made a big step here with the bike. We were competitive from the first free practice and I hope that we can continue like this at the next Grand Prix.”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil – P14
“I started from twentieth and my target was to make it as far in front as possible, which I did. I made it up to seventh position and then unfortunately I made a little mistake in turn twelve because I was having to fight so hard in the corners. At this point I lost the group in front of me and I struggled to get back in the slip stream. The whole race was very hard because even in the first seven laps, when I was passing everyone they were just passing me back on the straight. You cannot do this the whole race because if you make just one little mistake then you lose everything. It’s very frustrating; I know I could have fought for the podium today because I saw especially from the beginning of the race I was much faster. I have to just try to put this behind me now, focus on the positives and work together with my team to make sure we are stronger in Jerez.”
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“Today we have had quite an up and down race. Both riders made a great start; Jakub immediately went to twelfth place but then he got pushed off by another rider and dropped back to eighteenth. He then had to start working his way back up again and he did great. He did very good lap times and was looking strong. He was in with the leading group fighting for second place but then he had a moment where he ran off the track and lost some ground from the front runners. From that point it was a little bit difficult for him to catch them again because he was no longer in the slip stream of the other riders. He lost a lot on the straight too. In the end he closed in again on the group and actually finished only about two seconds from second place, which is very good. He rode a good race and I’m happy with how he performed today. On the other side he said the bike was very slow on the straight, so he lost a lot of ground there and couldn’t pass any riders on the straight which makes it very difficult, so I’m a bit disappointed with that. We have to really check why this happened and work on it. On Fahmi’s side he made a great start and was up to twentieth in the first corner, but then he made a mistake and ran wide. He lost a lot of time at that point and dropped down to twenty eighth. From then it was impossible for him to really do anything. He was riding his way through but it was a very hard race for him. We know what the problem is; we had bad starting positions and this makes it very difficult. On the other hand, we can do better with Fahmi. He really needs to start to analyse and understand why he is not doing better and we as a team need to help him to do his best. Now we go back to Europe and I’m looking forward to Jerez and seeing what we can do there. In the races we are competitive but we must improve our qualifying. “