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Moto2 race winner Alex De Angelis (centre) of San Marino celebrates next to runner-up, Anthony West (left) of Australia and third-place Gino Rea of Britain after the race at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday. With the podium finish, West’s team QMMF achieved their best ever result so far.
Sepang, Malaysia: ‘Rain King’ Anthony West showed his unbelievable skills on the wet Sepang Circuit when he stormed to second place at the Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix, yesterday.
The podium finished was the QMMF Racing Team’s best ever Grand Prix result.
“It’s a long time since I had a result like this and I’m very happy about my comeback on a Grand Prix podium. The last two years have been really difficult for me and at times, my confidence wasn’t great,” West said.
He added: “But in the last two races, I started to feel really good with the Speed Up bike. This race now is the next push for me to finish the season strong. I really want to thank QMMF for giving me the opportunity to race again. Initially, I thought I was not going to be racing this year at all and now I am back on the podium – things turn around quickly sometimes.”
Elsewhere, West’s team-mate, Elena Rosell, also had reason to celebrate after finishing in 20th position.
West started from 19th position on the grid and hunted down no less than 10 other riders on the opening lap to break into the top 10. He continued with the same incredible place and moved up to sixth after lap two and fourth after lap three.
An exciting battle with Italian Alex de Angelis, Briton Gino Rea and local hero Hafizh Syahrin unfolded that made the crowd cheer whenever the front group of four passed the grandstands.
Two laps from the end, West left Rea and Syahrin behind to take the second spot on the podium behind race winner de Angelis.
West thanked QMMF after his podium finish. He said: “Without QMMF, I wouldn’t be here, but I also want to thank the team as they are a great bunch of people. We all have a laugh, but at the same time, they all have a lot of experience. I am glad that I finally gave them a result that shows how good the team really is.”
QMMF Racing team manager Rashid Al Sulaiti was thrilled with West’s podium finish.
“Finally we found what we were looking for during the whole season,” he said. “Today (yesterday), he showed his special skills and his unbelievable feeling in the rain. But we are also making big improvements with the set-up of our new Speed Up bike in dry conditions,” he said.
“We struggled a lot in the first part of the season, but now, in the second part, we hope that we can continue on our way up and that we’ll be ready for next year. I want to thank QMMF, the team and our riders. Anthony West was simply fantastic today,” he added.
Speaking of the race, West said: “On the first laps, I seemed to pass lots of people quite easily. Finally, I caught up with Gino and Alex. They were setting a good pace and I was quite happy just to stay behind them. It was difficult, because sometimes they did really good laps and other times, they were sliding around, so I decided to sit there and watch.”
He added: “The conditions were changing constantly, sometimes you could brake hard and other times the track was too slick to do anything. Towards the end, the rain was out of control and I didn’t think I was going to complete too many more laps. To see the red flags come out was a big relief!”
Rosell, who ran to the podium to celebrate West’s success with the entire team, started from 31st place on the grid.
The lady racer from Valencia not only reached her goal of fighting with a group of other riders, but got stronger and stronger as the race went on.
In 26th position after 12 laps, she gained six more places to finish in 20th position, which is her personal best in GP racing, when the race was red-flagged because of heavy rain. THE PENINSULA