Hail the new S'pore MX champ
Local rider Hasroy Osman was crowned the Singapore champion last Sunday at the annual KBS Motocross Challenge 2016 in Kemaman, Terengganu.
Hasroy, 24, won both Motos in the Singapore category which had a starting grid of 18 riders.
He told The New Paper that he was overwhelmed by the victory in Kemaman, about eight hours drive from Singapore.
"I still can't believe (that I won). I'm speechless because (Muhammad) Amin was the favourite rider to win and everybody was gunning for him."
The winners of the KBS Motocross Challenge 2016 held in Kemaman, Terengganu. Positions 1st to 5th are Hasroy Osman, Ikhtiaruddin Salleh, Muhammad Amin, Mohammad Jeehad and Mohd Firdaus Kamal. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD AMIN
But he had not been successful in the last three years.
Twice he had to miss the motocross races held in Monica Bay, Kemaman, because he was committed to other races.
In 2014, he crashed in the same motocross race where a series of man-made jumps line the 1.2km dirt track.
But for newly-turned father, Muhammad Amin, handing over the title to Hasroy can best be described as "bittersweet" after coming in third overall.
Said Amin, 37, who held the title for the last four years: "I feel a sense of joy that the younger boys are stepping up and becoming more serious about motocross.
"Coming in third only motivates me to fight harder next year."
The 18 riders prepare for the signal to start the race at the starting gate. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD AMIN
In Saturday's Moto 1, Amin got the holeshot, a term to describe the fastest rider into the first turn.
Three corners later, Hasroy on a 250cc, four-stroke Yamaha motocross bike, took the lead and kept it till the finish line while Mr Amin came in second place.
For Moto 2 on Sunday, Hasroy led the race by the second turn in less-than-ideal conditions.
He said: "Traction had worsened. Braking and acceleration bumps felt like mini jumps after so many riders had gone over the same lines."
Keeping the lead
Mr Hasroy Osman on his bike. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD AMIN
With a smaller 19 sec lead, Hasroy said he was determined not to do "anything stupid" to allow the others to close the gap.
The same guys who were bitter rivals on the track congratulated him by devoting a short video clip to him when they all returned to their home stay accommodation.
As an experienced motocross rider who has competed overseas, Amin said he is glad to see such healthy camaraderie - on and off the track.
He added: "We shared riding tips and strategies at our home stay. Everybody wants to improve their motocross skills.
"If the younger generation of riders continue to be committed, they'll make a name for themselves."
Amin credits the strong Singapore showing in the Kemaman race to the frequent practice sessions at the nearby Ulu Choh Dirt Park, in Gelang Patah, Johor.
The well-maintained Ulu Choh Dirt Park, a 20-minute drive from the Tuas Second Link, gives younger competitors a good platform to build their riding skills, Amin said.
Overall results for the KBS Motocross Challenge 2016:
1. Hasroy Osman
2. Ikhtiaruddin Salleh
3. Muhammad Amin
4. Mohammad Jeehad
5. Mohd Firdaus Kamal