Often we hear about youngsters who are taking up sports at a young age, but it’s not every day though that a champion bike racer comes along! Let’s find out more about this passionate young ‘fast & furious’ daredevil.
We had an interview with Miss Zakirah Zairi to find out more about her passion: motor racing.
How did you become passionate about racing?
I started racing almost four years ago, however, I had a passion for it since I was five years old. My dad would always bring me to the track, whenever there was a MotoGP or Superbike World Championship (WSBK) race and I would get excited watching the race.
I became more passionate about racing when I started to ride a bike in 2018. Although it was not easy, I felt like it was a dream come true that I got to race and learn how to ride a bike. After I got the opportunity to race, I realised how fun it was to be able to do something I was passionate about.
Which bikes do you ride?
I have raced and trained with a lot of bikes such as the Honda CBR250R, Kawasaki Ninja 250, Yamaha FZ150, Suzuki DR-Z125, Suzuki DR-Z70 (which was the first bike I started riding on), Ohvale 110cc and many more!
Do you follow a special diet or workout regime?
I follow an eating schedule that my PE teacher has helped me to create, but I do have cheat days and eat junk food once a month.
I also have a workout regime, on the days that I am not training I would work out to help with my body strength, because I am racing against boys and I need to improve my body strength. But even if I was racing against only girls I would still improve my body strength, since some of the bikes are very heavy. I also do cardio workouts, such as jogging and cycling.
Are you the only female racer in Malaysia?
There are other amazing female racers here and I am glad there are. I hope I can one day inspire women with a passion in racing, to chase that dream and achieve it. I don’t only aim to achieve my own goals, I aim to inspire others to achieve their goals too!
How fast are you?
I would say I am quite fast in my class, but there are a lot of riders who are faster than me and I am working hard to improve my riding skills to be in the top group. When riding a bike, there are many turns and corners, and we must know when and where to accelerate, reduce speed, shift gears and brake. It all depends on the type of bike and its power. The layout of the track where you ride also plays a major role. For some tracks you can have more speed, while others are designed for more tactical turns.
Why did you move from Qatar to Malaysia?
The circumstances in Qatar are different from Malaysia. There are less competitions in Qatar and here in Malaysia there are many different competitions such as the Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSBK), the Malaysian CubPrix, pocket bike races and FIM MiniGP Malaysia.
Did you ever fall off your bike?
Yes, I fell multiple times, I even had a big crack on my helmet from a really bad fall, but the adrenaline made the fall feel like fun instead of being scary! Of course you don’t want to fall or crash, especially during a race, because you will end up losing your position or you won’t be able to finish the race.
How does your family support you?
My family are my number one supporters, and my parents support me to the extent of letting their youngest daughter move to Malaysia to take a step closer to improving and working harder for my passion.
Where can kids go for bike racing in KL?
If you’re aged 7 and above and interested in on-road motorcycle racing/riding, you can go for training in the Klang Valley with Edderz MRI. Suits, gear and motorcycle will all be provided, and you can contact them here on their FB page. If you’re more interested in motorcross classes, you can contact Most Fun Gym here.
When and where is your next big race?
Hopefully, my next big race will be end of July at the Sepang International Circuit and I hope you can all come to watch…
My goal is to try and get into Junior GP in a few years time! This may not be an easy challenge, but it will be one of my dreams. The competition to get into the championship itself is tough, therefore, I have to work very hard to achieve this target.
Wishing you all the best Zaikirah with your training and all matches ahead!