Rider Zaqhwan worries about going rusty due to extended pause on international racing

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian racer Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi is getting restless after one year of inactivity and is praying hard for the Covid-19 pandemic-interrupted motorcycle racing season to resume again.

The 26-year-old who races professionally with the Honda Asia-Dream Racing and Showa team is worried about losing his track and racing sharpness due to the lack of competitive races.

“Fitness training can only take athletes so far. At the end of the day, a swimmer must swim in swim meets, a footballer must play competitive matches and a motorcycle racer must race competitively. It’s the only way we, as athletes, will continue to improve,” said Zaqhwan.

The Selangor-born rider, winner of two FIM Asian titles and having spent half a season racing in the Moto2 class of the MotoGP, thought things were looking up for him after Showa and Co took him under their wings.

But then the global pandemic threw a wrench into their plans.

“I am worried that the inactivity would drive my career off-track. I should be racing in more international meets like the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, the All Japan Road Race Championship and certain rounds of the Endurance World Championship (EWC).

“Instead I have been pushed away from doing what I loved by the pandemic.

“However, it helps to know that vaccination efforts are being pushed-through in many Asian countries. Hopefully all governments can create bubbles to allow international sports to be held.

“I heard that the Asia Road Racing Championships (ARRC) promoters are working hard to re-assemble the ARRC grid by the end of this year. Such a move will save the career of many professional riders like me.”