Hafizh Syahrin to return to Moto2 after KTM MotoGP exit

Hafizh Syahrin secures a spot on the 2020 Moto2 World Championship grid after being dropped by his Tech 3 KTM MotoGP team

Hafizh Syahrin KTM

Hafizh Syahrin has confirmed he has sourced a deal that will see him compete in the Moto2 World Championship for 2020 following his impending exit from MotoGP.

Syahrin became the first Malaysian rider to start a MotoGP race in 2018 when he competed with Tech 3 Racing, impressing enough to earn a stay with the French team for 2019 as it swapped from Yamaha to KTM machinery.

However, the 2019 MotoGP season has been a struggle for Syahrin and it was announced early into the year that he would be dropped the Tech 3 Racing’s line-up in favour of the incoming Brad Binder for next season. 

Even so, there remained a slim chance of him staying on board after Johann Zarco’s dramatic exit from the factory KTM outfit, but Syahrin has now confirmed he will return to the Moto2 class he raced in until 2017 when he picked up three podiums. 

Though he is tight-lipped on where he will race, Visordown’s sister publication Crash.net understands it will be the Angel Nieto Team and he will replace Jake Dixon, who heads for Petronas Sprinta Moto2 in 2020.

"We just signed a pre-contract, we haven't signed the [full] contract yet,” he told reporters ahead of the Thailand MotoGP. “Probably this weekend we will sign it. So, I will go to Moto2 and probably it's not a new challenge, but the challenge is that now the engine is different,” he added, referring to 2019’s switch to Triumph power.

History-making Hafizh Syharin leaves his mark on MotoGP

Though Syahrin has struggled to get to grips with the Tech 3 KTM RC16 package this season, the Malaysian is generally considered to have performed above expectations given his minimal preparation time.

Syahrin was drafted in as a last-minute replacement for Jonas Folger at Tech 3 Yamaha after the German stepped down from his ride due to ongoing complications with a debilitating Gilbert’s syndrome illness.

Scoring a top ten finish in only his second MotoGP start, Syahrin was a consistent race finisher and missed out on top rookie status to Franco Morbidelli by only four points.  

His target on his return to Moto2 is to emulate the likes of Thomas Luthi, who after returning to the intermediate class following a disastrous debut MotoGP season last year has reasserted himself in Moto2. 

"Going back to Moto2, I would like to do the same as Luthi has done; always fight for top five and the podium and in the championship I want to be in the top five if possible, because I did two years in the top ten in the Moto2 World Championship.

"I'm not saying it will be easy next year, but what I have gained from the experience in MotoGP and in my physical condition, I believe I can give a challenge.

"I'm happy because I am still continuing in this championship, and I want to come back as soon as possible to MotoGP."

Between seasons, Syahrin will also become the first rider to take part in world championship events on two and four wheels during a single race weekend after being drafted in to compete in the inaugural Sepang 8 Hours EWC race, as well as the supporting WTCR touring car event.