PETALING JAYA: Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah’s prowess in the wet has not gone unnoticed.
The Moto2 rider was recently featured in MotoGP.com where he was asked to reflect on his first experience competing as a wildcard at the wet Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in 2012.
That was also the time when his Spanish nickname El Pescao (The Fish) started to resonate among Malaysian motorsport fans.
“I felt a little bit nervous during the race because I did not know how to control the situation.
“I started from behind and when I was in the front (leading the race) I tried to pull away by about one second but my tyres were almost finished by then. I ended up finishing fourth.
“I didn’t wear ear plugs back then so I could hear the fans going crazy. It was incredible, I can still remember it until now, ” said Hafizh.
“I think Malaysians are good in the rain because when we race in local championship in the Supersport class, we use normal Pirelli tyres, we don’t use rain tyres.
“So when we use rain tyres, it probably gives us the confidence to try and push for more, ” recalled Hafizh, who started the race from 27th position.
Hafizh was later promoted to third after second placed Anthony West of Australia tested positive for banned substance.
He also revealed his Spanish nickname has little to do with wet races.
“I used to race for a Spanish team and it was hard for the crew to say my name. They kept calling me ‘fish’, so I asked them the word for fish in Spanish and from then on I used this nickname (Pescao).”
Hafizh moved to Spain in 2012 to race in the CEV Europe series and became a full season rider in the Moto2 world championship two years later.
He spent four seasons with Petronas Raceline before moving up to the premier class with Tech3 for the 2018-2019 season.
Hafizh returned to the intermediate class with Aspar Team this year and will don NTS RW Racing GP leathers next season.