SEPANG: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has assured that government will support motorsports devlopment initiatives, especially motorcycle racing.
He said Malaysia has taken motorsports seriously and the Motorcycle Grand Prix is one of the marquee events hosted by the country.
“We recently said goodbye to hosting Formula One after 19 glorious years but we are committed to supporting support the development of motorsports in Malaysia, especially motorcyle racing.
“I know that grassroots efforts are already underway in this regard and I want to commit the government’s support for any initiative that helps elevate Malaysia’s position on the global motorsports stage,” he said.
Najib said this in his welcoming remarks in the 2017 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix official programme book.
Having hosted it for the first time at the famed Batu Tiga Circuit in Shah Alam in 1991, Najib noted that Malaysian MotoGP is the longest running international event held in the country.
He said the popularity of the event was reflected in the sheer number of spectators that arrived at the circuit every year with a crowd over 160,000 cheering on the racers over the course of the race weekend, last year.
“Indeed, it is you the fans who make this a truly special event, and for that I want to thank you.
“I was informed that tickets for the Main Grandstand sold out ten months ahead of the event and that is testament to your tremendous support for the Malaysian MotoGP, making this one of the most successful events at the Sepang International Circuit,” he said.
Turning to the race, the Prime Minister said that he was delighted that there would be a number of Malaysian heroes racing their hearts out at the circuit this year.
Three Malaysian riders racing in two categories this is season — Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah with Petronas Raceline Malaysia and Khairul Idham Pawi of Idemitsu Honda Team Asia in the Moto2 while Adam Norrodin who rides for SIC Racing Team as well as wildcard rider Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin in the Moto3.
“It is great to see emerging new talent, especially from Malaysia, having the opportunity to showcase their skills on the world stage.
“We wish them, along with all of the riders participating, the very best of luck,” he said.
Najib also thanked the organisers, officials and volunteers who have helped in making the event a world-class showcase. –Bernama