Published on November 18th, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Cub Prix Grand Finale: Fazli Completes Full Circle
Malaysian Cub Prix legend Ahmad Fazli Sham has admitted to feeling a strong sense of deja vu as his home town Taiping buzzes with excitement over the upcoming final leg of the 2016 Petronas AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship. Scheduled to take place this weekend (November 18 to 19), the Taiping-born seasoned campaigner will be the focal point for his legions of hometown fans. Their only wish is to see him win again in Taiping, regardless of the final outcome of the title chase.
“I’ve been kept really busy in the weeks running up to the Taiping race. The Majlis Perbandaran Taiping, the Perak State Government and the Cub Prix Fan Club, have been really active in their support of the event and I’ve been working together with all parties towards ensuring the success of the Taiping round. In a strange way, it almost feels like a homecoming for me even though I have never left Taiping,” said Fazli who will end the 2016 season in second overall position behind Kasma Daniel Kasmayuddin.
Fazli has enjoyed a 13-year career as a professional rider in the national motorcycle racing series. The seasoned campaigner has never been far from the podium and has become one of the most identifiable faces for Cub Prix racing fans. Fazli made his racing debut in Taiping back in 2003 when he became the only privateer rider to have ever won an open-make race in his very first round. Since then, he has won the national title twice (2007 and 2008) as well as the Asian Underbone 125cc title in 2004 and 2005. Fazli’s fairy-tale rise to the top of the Malaysian and Asian series have inspired many youths to follow in his footsteps.
“This weekend’s race in Taiping will be the completion of a circle for me. I’m still undecided if I should retire next season. Perhaps one more season to add the 150 SuperCub into my roster of race bikes that had bridged the transition from 2-stroke to 4-stroke. More importantly, as one of the most senior riders in Cub Prix, I have had the privilege of competing with three generations of riders. I earned my racing stripes from the first generation such as Wazi Abdul Hamid and Chia Tuck Cheong. Then, I truly came into my own as the Cub Prix champion when competing with the second generation comprising of riders like Ahmad Fuad Baharudin. Now, I am frequently the target to beat for the third generation of riders.”
The Petronas Yamaha Maju Motor rider is hoping that the pre-race excitement will translate into record-breaking crowds this weekend.
“There will be five Taiping born-and-bred riders this weekend – myself, my brother Fazrul, Syafiq Rosli and two young boys from the single-make series. We hope that the fans in Taiping will come out in droves to support us. At this point, we are still unclear if the Taiping venue will be available for Cub Prix next year. If the crowd can reach an estimate of around 50,000, it would be a good indicator that Taiping can become a permanent host in the Malaysian Cub Prix calendar.”