Fizzling out – Hafizh unseated in KTM Tech3 team


PETALING JAYA: Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah’s (pic) run in the MotoGP will come to an end next year.

Hafizh has lost his seat in the KTM Tech3 team to 2016 Moto3 world champion Brad Binder of South Africa.

The team announced that Binder and Portugal’s Miguel Oliveira will be their riders for the 2020 season.

The sad outcome for Hafizh was expected as he has been struggling since the team switched from Yamaha to KTM bike this season.

The Malaysian only scored three points after nine races thus far.

Hafizh did a much better job in 2018 when he became the first rider from South-East Asia to race in the premier class.

He scored 46 points and only lost out to Italian Franco Morbidelli in the fight for the Rookie of the Year award.

Sepang International Circuit (SIC) chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali said he met Hafizh after the news broke.

“The news effectively puts Hafizh without a race seat in MotoGP next year,” said Razlan.

“It will be really difficult as there are no more seats available in the class. We have also secured rider contracts for our own team (Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team) for next year.

“But I’m confident he will be racing in the world championships. There are two offers available for him in Moto2 and he needs time to decide.

“I’m sure Hafizh will make the right decision based on the circumstances and we at the SIC will do our best to assist,” added Razlan.

The SIC are also running their own team in Moto2 with Khairul Idham Pawi expected to return to action when the season resumes with the Czech Grand Prix in Brno next month.