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7 days ago

Syahrin Interview: “The thrill of a race still excites me!”

Hafizh Syahrin has quietly gone about his business in the World Championship, now consistently challenging for top points.

This season seems to be going very well for you, currently fifth in the championship and almost always battling for the top ten, what has changed this season?
“This is my third year competing in Moto2 World Championship and I do feel a little bit wiser with more exposure and experience. I was down resting and recovering from the hand surgery that I had after my crash in Valencia last year and was a bit restless. Once I was able to start working again, I pushed and worked harder than before. I would say that I am more prepared mentally and physically compared to my past two seasons, although my hand was still in pain during the pre-season tests and the first race in Qatar. I also feel better and more compose now.”

Every race you are getting closer and closer to the front, are there any tracks where you feel you can fight for the podium? 
“Of course! Let’s see… there are Aragon, Silverstone, Motegi and my favourite/home race: Sepang. Don’t discount other tracks just yet because we even had a good run in Mugello, which is my least favourite track due limited track time that I’ve had there.” 

In almost every race this year you have made up at least ten places from the start, would a better Qualifying help you in the hunt for the podium or do you just love the thrill of a race?
“We always spend more time in getting the bike right and ready for the race. We were still pushing to the limit sometimes even during the warm up session on Sunday morning. Yes, I would love a better placing on the grid as we always give our best in every session. It will definitely help in my podium hunt! It is a learning experience during every GP weekend and we do hope to speed up things and ‘catch the wave’ to qualify better.

“On the other hand, we are here to race, and the thrill of a race still excites me every time!”

With Moto2™ being such an equal class what are the areas that can help make a difference, other than the rider?
 “Ideally, we want to have the bike setup in record time! That will make a major difference. We are a single bike team and it will take up a bit more time to get the setup right comparing to the two bike teams. However, as I said before, every GP weekend is a learning experience for us.

“Several different performance parts can also be seen throughout the Moto2 bikes but the performance differences are small, in my opinion. It is more important to ensure that everything is working as it should be.“

What do you do between races? There is quite a decent sized break between Barcelona and Assen, do you return to Malaysia?
“We plan our schedule accordingly in between races. There are gym sessions, runs, cycles, track tests, flat track etc. I still train regularly but it is important to have some time off to clear your mind. Our trip back to Malaysia is included in the schedule and I kind of look forward to it to see my family and catch up with friends. Sometimes there will be promotional events with sponsors and sometimes it will just be media sessions. We left for a week break right after Barcelona and will be back for a scheduled test and the Assen GP.”