After ten years of competition, the 2018 MotoGP racing season sees Malaysian racer Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah (23) leave Petronas Raceline Malaysia. Currently competing in the Moto2 class, Hafizh, who hails from Ampang, was discovered by Raceline team principal Barry Leong while racing in the pocket bike league.

Hafizh made his professional racing debut for Raceline in the Petronas AAM Malaysian Cub Prix championship in 2007, before moving up to the Asia Road Racing Championship. Hafizh then stepped up to the Australian Formula Extreme Championships and FIM CEV Championship before making to move to Moto2 in 2011.

A series of lacklustre seasons then followed, despite a single third place in 2012, before his two podium wins this year in Misano, Italy and Motegi, Japan, where he placed second and third respectively. While no details have been forthcoming, Pescao 55, as Hafizh is popularly known, is expected to join the SIC Racing Team for the 2018 season in Moto2, with the intention of grooming him the enter the top flight of MotoGP in 2019.

“It truly has been an honour and a privilege for us as a team to have grown together with Hafizh. I have known and guided him since he was 12 years old, racing as a very talented boy, and now, a passionate young adult,” said Leong. Leong added that Raceline will continue to nurture and develop young Malaysian talent in motorcycle racing, saying that the parting between Hafizh and the team was “natural and amicable.”