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Ex-MotoGP rider Hafizh Syahrin closing on Honda deal for 2022 WorldSBK?

Hafizh Syahrin, the first south-east Asian racer to race in MotoGP, is rumoured to be making a switch to the MIE Honda team for 2022 WorldSBK

Hafizh Syahrin


Following on from the confirmation Iker Lecuona will switch from MotoGP to compete in the 2022 WorldSBK Championship, another ex-premier class rider is being primed for a similar move in the shape of Hafizh Syahrin.

The first - and so far only - person from a south-east Asian nation to compete in MotoGP, Syahrin has been tipped to follow Lecuona and from accepting a deal to compete with the expanded MIE Racing Honda team in 2022.

Together with Lecuona’s HRC Honda team-mate Xavi Vierge, it would ensure at least three riders defecting from the GP ranks to compete in the WorldSBK class next year.

Leandro Mercado - MIE Racing Honda CBR1000RR-R WorldSBK 2021

Syahrin was a surprise choice to make his MotoGP debut in 2018 after being tapped as the last minute replacement for Jonas Folger at Tech 3 Yamaha after the German rider was sidelined for a lengthy period with fatigue syndrome.

Despite the minimal preparation time, Syahrin acquitted himself among the racing elite, scoring four top ten results to out-perform other notable series newcomers, including Takaaki Nakagami, Thomas Luthi and Xavier Simeon. 

By the end of the season, Syahrin would finish just four points shy of defeating 2020 MotoGP runner-up Franco Morbidelli for the Rookie of the Year prize.

Earning a renewed deal with Tech 3 for 2019, Syahrin struggled with the ensuing switch to KTM machinery and was comfortably out-performed by team-mate Miguel Oliveira. Released by the team for 2020, Syahrin returned to Moto2, where he has achieved three podiums since his intermediate class debut in 2011.

However, after a troubled 2021 Moto2 campaign on the less competitive NTS chassis, Syahrin will embark on a change of direction for 2022 by joining the satellite Honda operation alongside Leandro Mercado, who is set to receive a second season on the CBR1000RR-R following an upturn in form in recent rounds.

The Czech-flagged MIE Racing debuted in its current form in 2020, though it is the evolution of the historic Japanese Moriwaki Racing outfit under the steer of Midori Moriwaki, daughter of Mamoru Moriwaki.

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