When Brad Binder signed with the Petronas Sepang Racing Team (SRT) Moto3 for 2021 and the recent announcement of John McPhee staying put for another year to challenge for the Moto3 title, and the only outcome is Khairul Idham Pawi (KIP) will part ways with the team next season.  

When it comes to Malaysian riders in the world championships, for sure net citizens will always raining on social media regarding the action of the Petronas Sepang Racing Team (SRT) team to drop the country’s Moto3 rider, Khairul Idham Pawi.  

Team principal, Datuk Razlan Razali is not easy to be beaten down by harsh criticism. It was not an easy decision as Razlan admitted that Khairul was a talented rider, who won twice in 2016 (Argentine and German GP in the wet conditions). But the World Championship needs a rider to be competitive right from the green light, and our view at KiP sustaining a long nursing injury which took a toll on him for the part of 2019 season. Even after surgery, we follow KIPS progress, KIP is still struggling at the bottom of the timesheets during free practise, qualifying and race.

The team needs riders who can provide competitive competition at all tracks.

Malaysian riders under Sepang development has three riders who are racing in CEV (Adam Norrodin in the European Moto2 Championship, Syarifuddin Azman in the World Youth Moto3 Championship and Muhammad Sharul Ezwan Sharil (European Talent Cup).

Datuk Razlan added “They will compete in the World Championships when the time comes. I do not want to take them out of desperation, I want them to be really ready to give the challenge of competing at a bigger level,” he said.

According to Razlan, PETRONAS SRT has given Super KIP a chance to show improvement because the situation experienced by the rider from Perak who chose to undergo surgery to cut his finger last August to allow him to perform well, but the results remain the same, has not changed.

“As a professional team, we have a target. The target set for KIP is not high. Because we understand the situation. We tolerate the target from the top 15 to the top 20 until we say ‘do not (finish) the lowest’.

“We’ve done our best. In fact, sometimes it’s more than his teammate (John McPhee). But we don’t see any signs that he can bounce back. We don’t want riders who finish the race in 22nd, 18th, 18th. 19.

“If we used to have only one team, namely Moto3. But when this team is big, there are Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP and when other riders show improvement, but our local riders are not progressing, so we do not know what to do and decided not to renew his contract, “he said.

However, there may be some light for the 22-year-old rider to return to the world competition but it comes with the condition that the Super KIP should show an improvement in the remaining four world racing races later.

That is one of the opportunities for Super KIP if it is true that the rider wants to stay in the World Championship or return to race at the FIM CEV European Championship.

“If he can show a little improvement, we can consider. It is not like opening a drawer to take RM1 million and give it to KIP for him to CEV Moto2. So the rider has to do something,” Datuk Razlan added.

All the best KIP! 


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