Let’s Bring Back The Glory Days Of MotoGP, Says Ahmad Zahid

8 September 2004
Launching the 2004 Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, superbiker and the Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has called for stronger efforts among Malaysians especially the motorsports fraternity to bring back the glory days of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

A self-confessed true blue biker and die-hard motorcycling fan, Datuk Ahmad Zahid said the Tourism Ministry is ready to play a key role in promoting the event to enhance the progress of Malaysia’s sports tourism industry and to boost motorsports development in Malaysia.

“The Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, which traces back to 1991 to the glory days of Shah Alam Batu Tiga Circuit, is almost synonymous to the growth of motorsports in Malaysia,” he said at the official launch at Menara Kuala Lumpur today.

“I remember the excitement, jubilation and happiness among Malaysians especially the bikers and the motorsports fraternity in celebrating our success in bringing the world’s No 1 Motorcycling event to Malaysia. ”

“It was a truly significant achievement by Malaysia in its efforts to put Malaysia in the international map,” he said, adding that the success was made sweeter with the introduction of Malaysian GP riders including as wild card entries competing in the world stage.

The 2004 Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, which would be held at Sepang Circuit from 8 to 10 October, would the 14th edition of the series and Round 14 of a 16-leg championship this year, which would be concluded in Valencia, Spain on October 31.

Without doubt, Ahmad Zahid said motor racing in Malaysia had risen to new heights due to the Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix and the FIM World Motorcycle Grand Prix Championship, which is the world’s biggest motorcycling event.

“As a true blue biker, I sincerely feel that it is important that we maintain our appreciation and support for the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix as it remain vital and significant in our efforts to develop motor racing in Malaysia,” said Ahmad Zahid, who is also the adviser for the pro-tem Superbikers Association of Malaysia.

While it is heartwarming to note that there was currently more motorcycle racing events being organized in this country, he said that it was obvious that the country needed more high quality competitions in its quest to produce world-class riders.

“We have yet to see another Malaysian in the World Motorcycle Grand Prix after Shahrol Yuzy while teenagers as young as 15 from Europe are currently already winning some of the GPs,” he said, adding that experts in this field should identify ways to build champions from Malaysia in the future.

On further developing the country’s sports tourism industry, Ahmad Zahid said the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix would remain and continue to be a key agenda in the promotion of Malaysia as a sports tourism destination and its stands firm along side with the Formula One Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix in our programmes.

In his speech, SIC Chairman Datuk Mokhzani Tun Mahathir said the 2004 Marlboro Malaysian Grand Prix would be a thrilling affair with the battle for the world titles in MotoGP as well as in the 125cc and 250cc classes is very much alive and kicking.

“Over the last 13 years, the Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix had always provided excellent entertainment and thrills with additional sparks of excitement for racing fans.”

“I believe the 2004 Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix will be as exciting, if not better,” he said, adding that apart from the on-track activities, SIC will be organising the Sepang Bike Fest, which will feature concerts by renowned artists, biking competitions, fun and games and motorcycle stunt demonstration as well as the Regenerate Red Zone rave party.

“Fans will also get the opportunity to have autograph sessions as efforts are currently being made by SIC to secure the riders through their teams and sponsors,” added Mokhzani.

At the ceremony, SIC also launches an exclusive contest for 2004 Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix ticket purchasers, which among others, offers a Ducati Monster 750 worth RM70,000 as the grand prize, sponsored by NAZA Motors which is the event co-sponsors.

The contest also offers an Aprilia RF250 GP1 bike, worth RM37,700 as the second prize, which is sponsored by Motto Millia and also Alpine Stars products, sponsored by AMANIZ Distribution.

Tickets for the 2004 Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix are priced as low as RM10 and can be purchased at the circuit or at KL Sentral Kuala Lumpur. Tickets can also be purchased via internet atwww.malaysiangp.com.my or by calling TICKET HOTLINE at 03-85262222.