Malaysian talent set to step up from Moto2 full-time in place of Folger.
Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin will join Monster Yamaha Tech3 in the upcoming MotoGP test at Buriram in a deal that could extend into the entire 2018 season.
After trialling Yonny Hernandez at Sepang, it’s been officially confirmed that the satellite Yamaha team will field Moto2 regular Syahrin over three days in Thailand.
“First of all, I want to thank Herve Poncharal for giving me this opportunity and of course the entire Monster Yamaha Tech3 team,” the 23-year-old explained. “I’ll try to do my very best during these three days in Thailand. For me, it’s a dream coming true to be able to ride a MotoGP machine.
“I have to admit that I’m overly excited to get this chance. I hope I can be fast from the word go to show everybody what I’m capable of. In addition, I want to thank Razlan and all the people, who support me and made this possible. I’m incredibly happy and I’m looking forward to be in Buriram, because it will be the very first time ever I can ride a MotoGP bike.
“I know that I have to learn a lot abroad the Yamaha YZR-M1 and I’m eager to try to understand how the team works as I know that they are very experienced, so I want to make the most of their input. During this winter, I trained a lot, yet I hope this hard work pays off and I can’t wait to get this test started.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3 is seeking a replacement for German Jonas Folger after he was ruled out of the upcoming season. The test of Syahrin appears a mere formality, considering his former SIC Moto2 team has already signed countryman Zulfahmi Khairuddin in his place.
“I’m really happy and honored to have the possibility to have Hafizh Syahrin with us for the test in Buriram,” Poncharal commented. “As everybody knows, since Jonas Folger decided that he couldn’t race in 2018 we’ve been looking for who could be the right replacement rider. Following the Sepang test, we had many meetings and it has been decided that Hafizh Syahrin would be a very good choice for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team.
“Right now, it is only three days, but I am more than convinced that Hafizh is going to show us what he can do. He is young, only 23 years old, has already done some podiums in the Moto2 class, which is not easy. He ended inside the top 10 in the final ranking of Moto2 in 2017, which is a huge achievement, because I know how tough this category is.
“As I always said, to have a young rider is much more meaningful for the team than having an already established rider. Let’s do the test, I’m already full of excitement and optimism and really soon after Buriram we will take a final decision. Yet, I would like to thank Razlan Razali from Sepang International Circuit, who is the team manager of Hafizh Syahrin.”
Syahrin has established himself as a consistent top 10 rider in the Moto2 World Championship, joining the series full-time in 2014 and finishing on the podium twice last season. He finished ninth in the 2016 standings and P10 last season.