From the Runway to the Race Track – AirAsia Presents the AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan 2012
MotoGP fans in Japan were given a ‘red’ race weekend in Motegi as AirAsia presented the AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan from October 11 to 14, 2012. Throughout the weekend, the Twin Ring Motegi circuit was painted red with AirAsia branding and was completed with AirAsia flight attendants who were around to interact and pose with fans. The race was the 15th edition on the MotoGP World Championship calendar for the 2012 season and the first of two races in Asia.
AirAsia is the title sponsor of the AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan for the 2012 and 2013 edition of the MotoGP. Additionally, the airline is also the title sponsor of the 2012 AirAsia Australian Grand Prix which will be taking place from October 25 to 20, 2012 and has the option of extending it to the following year.
The airline is no stranger in being part of major sporting events such as the MotoGP as it is also involved in other sports properties such as Formula 1 as AirAsia is the Official Partner of the Caterham F1 team and in the English Premier League as the Official Club Partner of Queens Park Rangers.
Fans witnessed three thrilling and exhilarating races with Danny Kent scoring his maiden victory in the Moto3 category followed by Maverick Vinales and Alessandro Tonucci. Racing for Team AirAsia-SIC-Ajo Motorsport is none other than Malaysia’s sole competitor in the MotoGP, Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin. Fahmi finished fifth in the race and is currently placed seventh in the championship standings with 92 points. The 20 year-old is aiming for a podium finish at his home race in Sepang at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix happening this weekend.
In the MotoGP category Dani Pedrosa closed the championship gap between him and fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo after crossing the finish line first in his Honda in the MotoGP category with Lorenzo finishing second. Alvaro Bautista who finished third made it an all-Spanish podium finish. The race in Motogi also featured 2011 MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner who made his comeback after missing the last three races due to injuries sustained after crashing at the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
The Moto2 also produced another Spanish 1,2,3 finish with championship leader Marc Marquez extending his lead in the championship after finishing first, followed by Pol Espargaro and Esteve Rabat.
AirAsia Japan CEO Kazuyuki Iwakata was on hand to present trophies to all the winners in the three categories.
AirAsia Group Head of Commercial Kathleen Tan said, “Our foray in MotoGP began in 2009 and I am glad that it has been extended to this year with the sponsorship of these two races. Sports sponsorships such as this has allowed us to connect, engage and build a closer with our guest whilst sharing with them their passion and interests.”
“This is the third year AirAsia is sponsoring a MotoGP race and our involvement with with MotoGP further extends to our sponsorship of Team AirAsia Sepang International Circuit Ajo Motorsport, with rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin. This is a testament of our commitment to drive the development of youths especially from the ASEAN region. We hope to create more talents, more of our stars, our own content and our own heroes while at the same time making dreams come true for talents like Fahmi.”