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Malaysian rookie Hafizh Syahrin has joined Tech3 Yamaha for the upcoming MotoGP pre-season test at Buriram, ahead of the team making a “final decision” on its 2018 line-up.
Tech3 has found itself needing a late-notice replacement for Jonas Folger, who had signed on for a second season with the team but announced in January he would sit out the campaign due to the health issues that had ruled him of the final races of 2017.
Though Tech3 tested former MotoGP regular Yonny Hernandez in Folger’s place the first pre-season test at Sepang, it was Moto2 rider Syahrin who eventually emerged as favourite to line up alongside Johann Zarco full-time.
Syahrin has already pulled out of the Moto2 deal he had in place for 2018, and will get his first taste of MotoGP machinery at Buriram – but is so far only confirmed for the test.
“I’m really happy and honoured to have the possibility to have Hafizh Syahrin with us for the test in Buriram,” said Tech3 team boss Herve Poncharal.
“As everybody knows, since Jonas Folger decided that he couldn’t race in 2018, we’ve been looking for who could be the right replacement rider.
“Following the Sepang test, we had many meetings and it has been decided that Hafizh Syahrin would be a very good choice for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team.
“Right now, it is only three days, but I am more than convinced that Hafizh is going to show us what he can do.
“Let’s do the test, I’m already full of excitement and optimism and really soon after Buriram we will take a final decision.”
Syahrin, 23, has been a full-time part of the Moto2 grid for the past four seasons and has three podiums in the category to his name.
“I’ll try to do my very best during these three days in Thailand,” Syahrin said.
“For me, it’s a dream coming true to be able to ride a MotoGP machine.
“I have to admit that I’m overly excited to get this chance.
“I hope I can be fast from the word go to show everybody what I’m capable of.”