AFTER months of speculation, Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah has finally confirmed his return to Moto2 with Angel Nieto next year but his MotoGP dream is not over just yet.
Hafizh has signed a one-year deal with the Spanish outfit. He will ride alongside current Moto3 rider Aron Canet next year.
The Ampang-born rider disclosed that he will have a chance to move back up to the premier class in 2021 if he can impress in Moto2 next year.
The 25-year-old’s seat in Moto2, however, was paid for and thus he will be riding without a salary next year.
“I had a few options (in Moto2) but finally settled on Angel Nieto. I have to thank Datuk Razlan Razali (Sepang International Circuit CEO) and (Sports Minister) Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman for making it possible,” said Hafizh yesterday.
“I am confident in the team, and my target is to finish in the top-five next year.
“If I can do that, I will have a chance of returning to MotoGP (in 2021).
“I will not have a salary next year, but I am still determined to fight hard. I will, however, have to find a sponsor to cover my travel, accommodation and training expenses.”
Hafizh admitted his second season in MotoGP with Red Bull KTM Tech3, who will be replacing him with Brad Binder next year, was disappointing.
“I still believe in my capacity (to be competitive) in MotoGP and remain highly motivated, but it has just not gone my way this year,” added Hafizh.
“I am not the kind of rider who likes to complain or make excuses but the (chassis, engine) package I received (from the team) was not the same as my teammate and it was hard for me.”
Hafizh became Southeast Asia’s first ever full-season MotoGP rider when he joined Tech3 last year and impressed in his first year, placing second in the rookies classification.
He, however, has struggled this year following Tech3’s decision to switch from Yamaha to KTM machinery.