A rumour has emerged that Malaysian racer Hafizh Syahrin, better known to fans as Pescao 55, is on a short-list to join MotoGP team Monster Yamaha Tech 3. This will make Hafizh the first Malaysian rider to ride a full season in the top flight, replacing German Jonas Folger.

This was reported by Motorcycle News, speaking to Tech 3 team principal Herve Poncharal, who confirmed Hafizh’s name was on their list of potential replacements for Folger. However, nothing is confirmed as yet, but Hafizh would be joining a team that garnered several podiums and poles last season.

“Right now, nothing has been decided by far, because there are different priorities from some of my partners. They have different ideas depending on whether they’re on one side of the Atlantic or the other, and for some of them Asia is very important and for others not so much,” said Poncharal.

Should the deal happen, 23-year old Hafizh will be team mates with 2016 Moto 2 champion Johann Zarco, who himself has shown potential since joining the Yamaha MotoGP satellite team. Hafizh has been competing in motorcycle Grand Prix since 2013, stepping up to the podium twice in 2017, at Misano and Motegi.

Hafizh made a sudden departure from Petronas Raceline Malaysia in October last year, after 10 years of competition. He was then dropped from Petronas Sprinta Racing, instead riding exclusively for SIC Racing Team in Moto 2.