After a difficult run of races, Hafizh Syahrin (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) got his maiden MotoGP™ season back on track at the PTT Thailand Grand Prix after claiming top rookie honours in P12 – his best result since the German GP.
The Malaysian had been outside the points on three consecutive occasions in Austria, Misano and Aragon, but the 24-year-old was back on form in Buriram: “Of course I’m really happy because this is what we want,” explained Syahrin, who has now claimed top rookie honours in five races this season. “We got a little bit stuck behind so we needed to pass the slower riders. After I passed them I felt really good in my rhythm, we were really consistent. I think my pace was more or less the same as the front group, but yeah because when they make a gap, when I tried to push it was always the same gap.”
And if it wasn’t for a problem with his leathers, 'El Pescao' may have been able to have bettered his P12: “Then on the last three laps I tried to arrive behind Iannone, but I had a problem with my suit which made me a bit slow. So, I hope next race we can improve something and really thank you very much to my team because they still believe in me, I also worked really hard and believe in myself.”
Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal has placed his belief in Syahrin for next season as the team switch from Yamaha to KTM machinery. But before another fresh challenge awaits, the number 55 rider has a Rookie of the Year title to strive towards. Syahrin currently sits five points off Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) with four races remaining and after gaining two points on the Italian in Thailand, it’s all to play for.
“We know we have struggled in the last two or three races, we have been really far behind. Together, now, we are at the right point. We gained two points on Morbidelli and now we’re just five points behind. We still need to stay in front of him in the last four races and we’ll do our best.”
The three flyway races now await Syahrin including his home race at the Sepang International Circuit, a track he claimed a podium at as a wildcard Moto2™ rider in 2012. Japan is first on the agenda though and after scoring a third-place finish at Motegi in the intermediate class last season, it seems the Malaysian has every chance of climbing back above his Italian counterpart between now and Valencia.