Close to 25 years!
That’s how long we all here in Malaysia have been waiting for this historic moment.
Early this morning, Negaraku – the Malaysia national anthem – played for the first time in the World Motorcycle Championship. Khairul Idham Pawi – the boy from Kampung Gajah, Perak won the Moto3 Argentinian Grand Prix in spectacular fashion.
Equally commendable is Adam Norrodin from Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, Johor. It could have been a 1-2 finish for the Malaysians. Adam’s never-give-up attitude of continuing the race by pushing his fallen bike to the finish line also deserved equal respect.
I’m sure most Malaysians (let alone rest of the world) will have never heard of these two names until this morning.
The real challenge for the boys now is to keep their composure and head level. They will need to show that this is not a fluke. They still have a long road aheads but today they have demonstrate they have the right spirit and speed to reach there. All they need now is consistent racing pace.
To quote Khairul in his interview with redbull.com few weeks back:
“Well it’s my first year and I want to use this as an opportunity to learn and get more experience in racing. I haven’t set a high target at all but I just want to go out there and do my best for my team, my family and my country.” – Khairul Idham Pawi (KIP)
So why 25 years in the making? Here are some number fun facts:-
The year Malaysia started hosting the world motorcycle championship at the old Batu Tiga Shah Alam Circuit almost 25 years ago! I’m pretty sure this also ignited the dream, passion and ultimately belief that we one day can also be a world champion. The circuit had since closed and being redeveloped for commercial and residential purpose but not before appearing in Jackie Chan’s movie presumably as a track somewhere in Japan!
The young tender age of Khairul and Adam. That’s the age where most of us took our SPM or O-level examination before we started embarking on bigger things in life. Technically both of them were able to ride on a public road legally a year before.
The direct flight distance in kilometres between Kuala Lumpur to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. However Malaysia Airlines had ceased flying there since 2012. Now add another 1,200km between Buenos Aires to Termas de Río Hondo where the actual race was held. This is long way from home and too costly for Khairul’s family to join him at the race as reported by nst.com.my
The winning gap in seconds between Khairul and the second place rider! That’s astounding by any racing standard especially in Moto 3 where typically the gap between the 1st and the 6th riders can sometime finish within 3 seconds or less from one another. Some naysayers may think Khairul was lucky when he took a gamble with the intermediate tire on a track that was still wet. But let’s not overlook the fact that Khairul had shown he got the pace throughout the weekends. As crash.net pointed out, it was a fearless ride from this young rookie.
The local time in Kuala Lumpur when the race was scheduled to start which was well passed midnight by the time Khairul won. By then most Malaysians we can safely assume to be in lullaby land.
The racing number of Khairul’s Honda motorcycle competing in this year Moto 3 championship. Add the digit 8 and 9 together we will get 17 which the age of Khairul comes 20th September this year! Same rule applies for 4805 which is the length of the Termas de Río Hondo circuit in metres. Add the four digits together and tada we will get 17 (the age of both riders this year)!
The height of both Khairul and Adam in centimetres according to their profile listed at motogp.com. What is the odd for both riders having the same height? At least 2kg is separating both in terms of weight but still very close.
The date of which Malaysia will host the penultimate leg of the 2016 championship. Will we witness the crowning of a new local champion in his home country by then? Numerology odd is pretty high because surprise surprise the Sepang Circuit is going to host the 17th round of the championship!