Unbeknownst to many, PETRONAS was already involved in the 250cc category of the World Motorcycle Championship many years ago with local rider Shahrul Yuzy under Team Petronas Sprinta Yamaha TVK (Tong Veng Kit) , proudly bearing the Malaysian flag in many international circuits for three years. There was a long absence for a Malaysian representing top class motorcycle racing until Zulfahmi Khairuddin in 125cc and Moto3 three years ago.
Petronas has just announced that Team PETRONAS Raceline Malaysia will be entering the Moto2 class of the 2014 World Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) on a full-season basis with its rider, Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah. The announcement was made in written confirmation from DORNA and IRTA to Team PETRONAS Raceline Malaysia manager, Barry Leong. Thus in 2014, Malaysia will have a total of 4 local riders in top level motorcycle racing, with 2 each in Moto3 and Moto2 categories.
Hafizh Syahrin was discovered by Petronas at the tender age of 12 and both have developed a strong working relationship. Together they grabbed titles at the national level (PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship) and created waves at the regional level (PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship) and the Spanish National Championship. Last year in the Moto2 race in Malaysia he shocked everyone and enraptured the local crowd when he finished the wet race on 4th, despite starting at the back of the grid. His skills in the wet and familiarity of the local Sepang track saw him lead the race at one point. His was given the nickname “Pescao”, or little fish in Spanish for his superb ability on riding in the wet.
In 2013, they put in credible Moto2 wildcard performances at Le Mans, Catalunya and a 16th place finish at the Sepang , the best position by a wildcard entry in the Moto2 class this season. More amazingly in August, Hafizh Syahrin won race 2 and third position in race 1 of the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley Davidson series during the Indianapolis World Motorcycle Grand Prix (as per the picture below). Hafizh Syahrin also created a historic win in the Moto2 class of the CEV Repsol Spanish Championship at the Navarra Circuit in September.
“It is not just Hafizh Syahrin who is progressing a step closer to the pinnacle of his motorcycling career; it is also Team PETRONAS Raceline Malaysia’s full-season in the Moto2 class of MotoGP on the strength of their credentials. As the team’s sponsor and partner, PETRONAS is proud of this achievement,” said Anita Azrina Abdul Aziz, Head of PETRONAS Motorsports.
[SOURCE & Pictures: Petronas Motorsports]