KUALA LUMPUR: MotoGP Rookie Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah's consistent performances and positive attitude since joining the Monster Yamaha Tech3 outfit has earned him a second year with the MotoGP team.
The French based Tech3 outfit today (Wednesday) confirmed that they have offered a one year extension on Hafizh's contract with the team which will be switching to KTM machines next season.
Team principal Herve Poncharal said he had always intended to retain Hafizh since day one.
"Since Hafizh jumped on our MotoGP bike, it’s been like a dream every single day because he’s been very fast, a lot faster than some people were even thinking. We’ve been very proud of what he has done so far," said Poncharal.
"I know it was a great achievement for a Malaysian rider to be the first one arriving in the MotoGP class. For his first ever MotoGP race, he scored points and since that day he has been consistently battling for the top rookie spot.
"Apart from that, Hafizh is a very special character. He is a very nice young man, very well educated, very humble, very respectful of everything, hard-working, wanting and wishing to learn a lot."
Hafizh said he was close to tears when he knew that his contract with the team would be extended.
"I’m incredibly happy to get this chance to stay with Tech3 and join the KTM family, I even feel close to crying tears of joy. Thanks to everybody and especially to Hervé and Datuk Razlan Razali (Sepang International Circuit chief executive officer) for always believing in me," said Hafizh.
"I will work hard for 2019 and will be better prepared as it will not be as surprising as this season. I'd also like to thank KTM for believing in Herve, our team and me."
He will be riding alongside Miguel Oliveira of Portugal who will be moving up from Moto2 where he is currently racing with Red Bull KTM Ajo. Current teammate Johann Zarco will be moving to the factory KTM team next season.
Tech3 had earlier this year signed Hafizh as a late replacement for the ill Jonas Folger. The Ampang-born rider was initially scheduled to ride for SIC Racing Team in Moto2.