MALACCA: The 24th season of the Malaysian Cub Prix Championship today launched the country's most popular local motorsports event into a new era with the fuel-injected CP150 class.
The introduction of the 150cc underbones sees the premier class challengers setting off from ground zero, adding to the excitement ahead of the opening round in Temerloh from March 4 to 5.
"We'll start off on level terms with new machinery, so this will already be an interesting change ahead of the new season," said Givi Honda Yuzy Racing team principal Shahrol Yuzy Ahmad Zaini.
The launch at the Malacca International Motorsports Circuit (MIMC) today was officiated by Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM) chairman Tunku Mudzaffar Tunku Mustapha, with Safe Aim Mutual (SAM) Sdn Bhd promotions director Ron Hogg, also on hand.
Yuzy said the new Honda RS150 versus the Yamaha Y150 show in the CP150 class of the championship should entice fans further as many have been looking forward to the debut of the two machines since their arrival on the Malaysian market last year.
"At the same time, the introduction of the 150cc class could also take the Cub Prix into a whole new era. The series will need to evolve with the more powerful machines, thus this means improved safety features and to the circuits we use will be introduced as well," said Yuzy, 41.
Givi Honda Yuzy Racing's Supersports 600cc Asian champion Zaqhwan Zaidi will start the Cub Prix season aiming for his second premier class title and believes the Hondas should have an advantage.
"It is a whole new ball game with fuel injection and more efficient machines, meaning the race distances will also be extended," said Zaqhwan, 22.
"We can't say whether the Honda will have a clear advantage over the Yamahas, but I would expect, with dual overhead cams in our engine, compared to the Yamaha's single cams, we should have better top end speed in the straights. But that would also depend on the tracks.
"Thus, with such an open game to start off the season, it will definitely be exciting."
This year's Cub Prix season will feature 10 rounds, with seven categories of racing.