During a meet-and-greet session with the fans, Malaysian racer Hafizh syahrin, popularly known as “El Pescao” or “The Fish”, said he’s looking forward to the 2019 MotoGP season with Red Bull KTM Tech 3 on the RC16. Hafizh, who now carries a new fan nickname of “Bo55ku”, a play on his race number, did his rookie year with Monster Yamaha Tech 3, where he came in second behind Franco Morbidelli.

Speaking during a press conference Hafizh spoke about his activities during the off-season, saying he is a person who likes to keeps busy. “I spent a lot of time cycling for my fitness and played some football and things like that,” he said.

“I’ve liked racing from when I was young,” said Hafizh, “because my father had a workshop. I started from there and went on to mini bikes.” Asked about his race number, 55, Hafizh said the number is because of his birthday, the 5th of May, citing Marc Marquez #93, who was born in 1993, as an example of a racer using his birthday as his race number.

Expressing thanks to Datuk Razlan Razali, chief executive officer of Sepang International Circuit and Herve Poncheral, principal of Tech 3, Hafizh said, “I did not expect to be given this chance to ride in MotoGP last year, and this year in a full works supported team. I am looking forward to this challenge and will do my best.”

As first Malaysian to race in MotoGP in 2018, Hafizh said he felt emotional because many Malaysian fans support his efforts at the track, especially at Sepang. “I am looking forward to 2019 with Red Bull KTM Tech 3, with the RC16, which I think is a very sexy bike,” said Hafizh.

“The shape looks different, it looks different, covered in carbon-fibre,” Hafizh said. “The KTM is different from Yamaha, the electronics are different, the suspension is different, it takes time to get used to and understand the bike,” he said.