Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah in a file photo. His pre-season testing on his new 2014 Kalex machine in Valencia, Spain, begins Feb 11, 2014.
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Moto2 rider Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah just can’t wait to start the new season.
But first, the 20-year-old will undergo pre-season testing in Valencia, Spain, starting Tuesday to get some baseline data for the 2014 Kalex machine that he’ll be using in the world championship.
“We just got our new machine last week and there are still many things to sort out before the start of the season (the Qatar Grand Prix on March 23),” said the Petronas Raceline Malaysia rider.
Hafizh is a new addition to the Moto2 World Championship grid this season after Petronas fought hard to get a slot at the tail-end of last season.
Another Malaysian on the grid is Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, who is riding for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia. Azlan joined the world championship mid-season last year.
Hafizh is best remembered for his amazing display of race craft at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2012, where he surprisingly finished fourth as a wildcard rider. In the past two years, he has been racing in the highly-competitive Spanish National Championships.
Looking ahead to the season, Hafizh is confident he can spring some surprises.
“I have a lot to catch up this year as most of the top Moto2 riders have a lot of experience under their belt. They are well ahead in terms of experience and track knowledge.
“But our team have been working hard since we got the bike and I’m confident we can perform well this season,” said Hafizh.
Even Petronas Motorsports general manager Anita Azrina Abdul Aziz shares his optimism.
“Hafizh has continuously proven himself to be competitive in achieving the targets set for him. He achieved seven podium finishes in the Spanish National Championships last year.
“It will be a challenging year for him, especially this being his maiden year in the Moto2 World Championship. We will not be setting a challenging target for him, but we believe that he will be able to be as competitive as he always is,” said Anita.