All great things will eventually come an end as Sepang International Circuit (SIC) officials have made an announcement that Petronas Raceline Malaysia will part ways with “pocket king” Hafizh Syahrin for Moto2 in the 2018 season. This marks the end of their decade-long partnership.
The rumours had been lingering within the industry for quite some time and it has finally reached a clear stance. The two have engaged in a very successful partnership since 2007 since the day Hafizh made his debut at the PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship. The young rider- given the moniker ‘Pescao’ (fish in Spanish) due to his podium finishes in wet conditions- will be taking on a new partnership for next year with a newly-formed Moto2 team under SIC. The team name is yet to be announced.
“It has been a wonderful journey, seeing Hafizh progress throughout his career from racing in the PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix, moving up the different classes, and advancing on to the Asia Road Racing Championship. Hafizh, under Team PETRONAS RACELINE MALAYSIA, then participated in The Australian Formula Extreme Championship in 2011, before we moved on to race in the FIM CEV Championship in Spain” said former Team Principal Barry Leong.
“It truly has been an honour and a privilege for us as a team, to have grown together with Hafizh. I have known and guided him since he was 12 years old, racing as a very talented boy, and now, a passionate young adult. However, for everything that has a beginning, there has to be an ending, and we have come to a natural and amicable one.”
“Malaysia still has a pool of untapped local talents that are waiting to be discovered. Moving forward, Team Raceline will continue to develop and groom these young talents in setting higher goals to fully maximize their potential,” he added.
Petronas will be taking a new approach by sponsoring Moto3 riders instead under the Petronas Sprinta Racing team with Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki. The Moto3 scene has been steadily gaining recognition since the glorious days of Khairul Idham Pawi, perhaps the team is aiming to bring up young riders in the sport? Nevertheless, the move shifts the focus to also another important sector in the Malaysian scene in an attempt to work with skillful youths. We are definitely keen to find out the plans of both Petronas and Hafizh Syahrin for 2018.