18-year-old Team PETRONAS Raceline Malaysia rider Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah will be riding on a Moto2 wildcard ticket for the upcoming Malaysian MotoGP which will take place at the Sepang International Circuit from October 19 to 21.
This will mark Hafizh’s second wildcard ride in the Moto2 category of the world championships, after taking on the challenge in 2011 and recording a commendable 20th place finish out of a grid of 38 riders.
The PETRONAS talent development rider who had risen up the ranks from the PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship and the PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship made the move to Spain to become the first Malaysian to race full time in the Campeonata de España de Velocidad (CEV) Spanish motorcycle championship.
Competing with an FTR Moto2 bike, Hafizh has already chalked up an impressive season with 5 top-5 finishes from 6 races. He is currently 6th overall in the Moto2 class of the CEV and leads the privateers cup.
“It is definitely exciting to watch Hafizh grow since his initial days in Cub Prix. This season he has been competing full time in the CEV Buckler with impressive results. His participation there is an important step in his development as it prepares him in so many different aspects,” commented PETRONAS Motorsports General Manager, Puan Anita Azrina Abdul Aziz. “On the back of his first Moto2 experience last year and the knowledge and skills he’s picked up in the CEV, he has certainly grown and we’re optimistic that he will have a strong race at the Malaysian MotoGP round!”
Meanwhile, PETRONAS Raceline Malaysia team manager, Barry Leong shares his expectations for Hafizh’s second appearance in the hotly-contested Moto2 and said, “Compared to what he was able to achieve at last year’s MotoGP, Hafizh has taken another step forward with a really impressive debut in the CEV Buckler. I think on that basis he will be able to continue honing in on his skills and competitive edge, so naturally, our target is to have Hafizh better his result from last year and achieve a the top-15 finish in the class at Sepang. We are quite confident as during the recent test, Hafizh has already managed to clock 1.9 seconds faster than his best lap time at well under the 2.10minute mark. Furthermore as a team we are already working around the clock to equip Hafizh with the best equipment, manpower, support and maximum amount of track time for his preparation for the wild-card entry.”
Excited to compete in front of his home-crowd, Hafizh commented, “I am really delighted to be back and participate in my second wildcard ride in Moto2. For that I would like to thank PETRONAS for having the confidence in my abilities and for the incredible support they have given me. My main aim this year is to definitely push to improve on the result that I manage to achieve last year. I have gained a lot of experience from last year, but most of all I’ve learned a lot from my season in the CEV Buckler. I am confident that I can achieve my target of a strong finish in my ‘home’ race at Sepang. Right now, my main focus and priority is to ramp up my preparations for the Moto2 race at the MotoGP.”