KUALA LUMPUR: Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah can't wait to make his maiden appearance in MotoGP in front of a home crowd at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix which starts on Friday.
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider enjoyed a positive weekend in Australia last week until he crashed out of the race while in eighth position. He did well to finish 10th at Motegi late last month which was the second time he had cracked the top-10 this season.
Hafizh, who earlier this year entered the history books as the first Malaysian to compete in the premier class, is determined to continue his good form in Sepang where he will resume his rookie rivalry with Italian Franco Morbidelli.
"I’m looking forward to arrive in Sepang after the good sensations we got in Phillip Island. Although the result was not great in the end, two thirds of the race was fantastic," said Hafizh.
"I learned from the top riders in front of me, plus I was able to stay close to them. Unfortunately, I lost the front in turn four and was missing some power from the engine on the straights.
"I just can’t wait for my home race (Sepang), which gives me some extra motivation. We will keep working hard and believing in ourselves. For sure, we’ll try to do our best there."
Hafizh's crash at Phillip Island allowed Morbidelli to widen his lead atop the rookie standings as he now has 46 points.
On paper, Hafizh, who is second on 34 points, still has a chance to win the Rookie of the Year title with a maximum of 50 points still up for grabs in the final two rounds at Sepang and Valencia later this month.