KUALA LUMPUR: Wet weather specialist Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah was right at home in the wet conditions at the Japan Motorcycle Grand Prix, notching some impressive lap times in the opening practice sessions today.
The Petronas Raceline Rider finished the first practice session (FP1) at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in third place overall with a time of two minutes and 6.201 seconds, and backed it up with an equally impressive 2:06.629s for sixth in FP2.
Hafizh, who is currently 11th in the overall standings on 66 points, said he was happy with his performance considering the challenging conditions.
"The track conditions were very tricky because it was raining since the early hours today. It was rather wet, but there was still some grip, which was good," said Hafizh.
"The rain persisted in the afternoon, which made for a very wet FP2. The treacherous conditions made it difficult for everyone, but I just kept pushing as much as I could. I had to be careful not to go beyond the limit.
"Given the circumstances, we are very pleased with sixth (FP2). The bike felt great on the track, so now we just need to push on and stay focused on our goals."
Idemitsu Honda Team Asia rider Khairul Idham Pawi was, however, off the pace, managing 31st (2:09.836s) in FP1 and 24th (2:08.107s) in FP2.
In Moto3, Adam Norrodin was also impressive in FP1, in which he managed 2:11.105s for seventh, but settled for 26th after suffering a crash in FP2 (2:14.298s).
"We had a good first session and made a lot of progress. I kept pushing myself to see how far I could go and in the end, we finished the session in seventh," said the SIC Racing Team rider.
"In FP2, the conditions were quite different. It was still wet and I could feel straight away that the grip was less than before.
"I tried to stay calm, but then in the last corner I made a mistake, I took it (the corner) too tight and crashed in turn 14.
"My mechanics did a good job of repairing my bike and we will look to bounce back in FP3 tomorrow," he said.
Adam's teammate, Ayumu Sasaki was in 11th (2:11.526s) and 20th (2:13.645s) in FP1 and FP2 respectively.