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MOTO 2: Rider leaves it to supporters to decide foray into World Championship
IT won't be easy, but Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah is ready to take the plunge into the deep end if his supporters feel he is ready to do so in the Moto2 World Championship next season.
His feet firmly on the ground, 18-year old Hafizh remains undistracted by interest from Spanish team Aspar following his sensational performance as a Moto2 wildcard in the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Sunday.
"Personally I believe I still need more experience before I'm ready to perform well in the world championship. There's a lot more I need to learn via the Spanish CEV Buckler championship," said Hafizh yesterday.
"Ideally, I want to enter the world championship as ready as I can be and be able to register good results there. I don't want to go there and start from the back.
"But I am honoured by the interest in me and the decision will be up to my team and sponsors."
Hafizh yesterday attended a luncheon hosted by Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek to congratulate JK Racing Asia Series championship leader Nabil Jan Al Jeffri.
Timesport revealed yesterday a secret meeting held between Aspar chief executive officer Jorge Martinez and Hafizh's current team Petronas Raceline Malaysia's manager Barry Leong right after the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang on Sunday.
Martinez is said to have registered his intent on signing Hafizh, following the Ampang-born's sensational ride in the wet Moto2 race which saw him jet across the field from 27th into the lead, eventually finishing fourth.
Aspar, who run the Mapfre-Aspar team in all three classes of the FIM World Motorcycle Championship, have made an open offer to sign Hafizh for either the Moto2 or Moto3 world championships, or the Spanish CEV Buckler series next season.
Leong stated the offer was attractive, but asked Martinez to register the offer officially, which his team could then study along with sponsor Petronas. Hafizh said he also preferred to remain loyal to Petronas, since the national oil company has been his main backer since he was 13 years old.
"I leave that decision to Petronas and my team. I have been with Petronas for a long time, so I would prefer to move forward with them," said Hafizh.
That said, should Raceline and Petronas come to an agreement with Aspar on the next step for Hafizh, which could see him moving right into the World Championships next season, he is ready to step up immediately.
"If that is the decision, then I am ready to go to the world championships and I will do my best to produce good results there," said Hafizh.
He still has two rounds of the Spanish CEV Buckler Moto2 Championship to complete the season, currently sixth overall in that championship and leading the privateer class.