The Berjaya Sompo YAMAHA Y16ZR Race MasterClass has been an incredible spectacle, showcasing the impressive skills of riders from across the nation, involving handpicked riders from the One-Make to CP125 race categories of the PETRONAS Malaysian Cub Prix Championship. Now into its 2nd season which will be commencing this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit, the riders are not only about to chase victories but also a slot for the FIM Asian Road Racing Championships.

Making a debut for the 2023 season, Shafiq Ezzariq currently competes in the CP125 race category and sees no hurdle in making his way to the front in every race. Interestingly enough, Shafiq was more pleased with this category.

“I would say the competitiveness in Y16ZR is more fair compared to the other categories. I currently compete in the CP125 category, there is not much of difference in riding skills but the challenges are pretty massive. In CP125 class there are different manufacturers with machines of different capabilities. Some machines can be slower than the usual level of speed or heavier and some can be super fast. So, strategically, there are some hurdles and you have to be fast and precise on the track.”

“In Y16ZR it seems more comfortable. Yet, I believe the level of competitiveness is not any lesser because all the riders who have been selected are the best from every category. The plus is machines with the same capabilities and only the skills differ. Hence, the best takes up the victory. This is surprisingly appealing to me.”

“There are still a fair amount of challenges here, I assume. We have experienced riders in there like, Syamil Amsyar, Aliff Danial, and a few others. To a certain extent, we know each other’s abilities. It can be pros and cons.”

“Hence, to get my first title in my debut season can be tough but not impossible. Regardless, I’m pretty excited and can’t wait to race this weekend!” he said.

The 23-year-old has been in the motorsport scenes for more than a decade now. Starting with a mini-bike at the age of 9 and trying out numerous categories in the Malaysian Cub Prix, to getting his chance to be in the ARRC. He has won a fair amount of podiums throughout his journey and keeps improving over the years. Hence, he looks forward to spreading his wings higher.

“It all began with minibikes. I was 7 or 8 years old when I first fell in love with this two-wheel sport. My father exposed me to minibikes and races. I was young and super-excited. The speed, the sound, and the crowd during races. All these wowed me! I was 13 when I came to MCP, and the rest is history!”

“It has been more than 10 years. I have never been satisfied with my performances, thus far, and there is always more to go and learn. I also have never given up even once. There have been lots of ups and downs throughout this journey. I believe I still have my chance to go further in my career and my main target would be ARRC.”

“So, when I was picked to compete in Y16ZR, I couldn’t be any more grateful because it is a platform that could fast-track riders into the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship. That is my main target for this season. Initially, I never want to pressure myself with high hopes or targets, but, I believe some pressure won’t do harm. It will push me further to perform well.”

“There will be experienced riders who might find this easier or debutants just like me that can pull off stunts to be on the podium. We may never know. That’s the beauty of race, right? I’m looking forward for a challenging weekend.”

“I will try my best to finish the race and collect as many points as I can.” he said


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