After impressing in testing, it was money-where-your-mouth-is time for Hafizh Syahrin (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in his first premier class race, and the first ever Malaysian in MotoGP kicked off his campaign with his first ever premier class points.
After an impressive qualifying session that saw 'Pescao' lining up in P15 as the second quickest rookie, Syahrin battled it out on race day to come home in fourteenth - again, second fastest rookie, with only reigning intermediate class Champion Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) ahead of him.
So how was the experience?
“I’m so happy,” grins Syahrin. “Thanks so much to the team because they work so hard for me. I’ve put 100% of my focus into it and I really enjoyed the race. I brought home points for the team and my fans, and I promise I’ll continue working hard, learning to be better every race.”
The key thing he learned, however, was about the electronics – with that a big change from Moto2™ to MotoGP™.
“A few laps before the end I tried to change my electronics…it’s good, but I think I reduced the acceleration a bit because I wanted to save the tyre. But this is part of my learning, to understand the electronics. Three laps before the end I changed back, and I understand the situation now! I learned a lot. When we have a fresh tyre we don’t have so much spinning but after a few laps we have to change…I learned that in the race, and I understand it now I’ve finished the race. But maybe next time I can be better with that.”
Next time it’s Argentina, with action firing up on the 6th April.