Hafizh Syahrin will become Malaysia’s first full-time MotoGP competitor after Yamaha Tech3 announced him on Wednesday as the team’s second rider for the 2018 season.

The 23-year-old Syahrin replaces Germany’s Jonas Folger, who was ruled out of the upcoming season as he focuses on his recovery from a rare liver illness.  

Syahrin impressed the Yamaha outfit during a three-day testing session in Thailand last week, and will line up alongside Frenchman Johann Zarco at the season opener in Qatar on March 18.

“I’m incredibly delighted after receiving the good news,” Syahrin said in a team statement. “I’ll try to do my best and will give all I have this year. 

“I’m looking forward to test again in Qatar and I’ll be even more motivated. Honestly, I can’t wait for the season to start. I’m just overwhelmed!”

The Malaysian rider has competed in 78 Moto2 races after making his debut in 2011. – Agence France-Presse

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