Full speed ahead

MORE often than not, parents would consider two-wheel racing a waste of time. Khairul Idham Pawi, however, found himself in one of those rare situations where his passion receives full parental support.

"I asked my mum about it first, but she told me the decision was in my dad's hands. He, on the other hand, did not say anything for a year before he finally agreed and brought me to the shop to purchase my first bike," recalled the 18-year-old.

Growing up in Batu Gajah, Perak, Khairul found his interest in racing at the tender age of 13.

"My parents own a cattle farm, so if I am not into racing, I will probably take after their business; but now I will follow my career to wherever it takes me to," explained the humble teen.

He began his career by competing in local races such as the PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship and winning the Asia Dream Cup (ADC) in 2014.

The world of Moto racing finally took notice of Khairul when he was placed sixth overall in the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Championship, allowing him the opportunity to make his full-time debut in the 2016 Moto3 World Championship with Honda Team Asia.

His spectacular podium wins, under wet conditions, in Argentina and, then again, in Germany last year set the racing world on fire. Following his impressive records, he has moved up to Moto2 and currently partners Takaaki Nakagami at Idemitsu Honda Team Asia.

What do you remember about the first time you raced on a bike?
Well, after my dad got me my bike, I remembered riding it out in my first race. I actually fell and broke my arm.

You have since moved from Moto3 to Moto2, what's the best thing about this?
It is considered the highest platform you can race in before going into the MotoGP class. For any rider out there, it is the ultimate dream to race in the World Championship.

The best moment of your life so far is...
Winning two podiums in last year's race season. That was amazing!

What have you learnt from your rookie season in Moto3?
That racing is definitely a high risk sport – it takes a lot of experience to learn the feel and control of one's bike.

Who is your inspiration on the race track?
Marc Marquez, enough said.

Whenever you're not racing, what do you do in your free time?
I like to move about, so I'm either out cycling with friends or working on my training at the Dato' Sagor Race Circuit.

Do you have a favourite 'fast' movie?
To be honest, I rarely watch TV shows or movies since I'm outdoors most of the time. The only 'fast' movie I know is the one I'm living out.

What about music? What gets you going?
I love dance music by Alan Walker. I usually listen to his music before a race to get myself hyped up.