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Tech3 signs Hafiz Syahrin for 2018 MotoGP season

Hafizh Syahrin has been signed as a full-time Tech3 MotoGP rider for the 2018 season following his test debut for the satellite Yamaha outfit in Thailand

The 23-year-old will become the first premier class rider from Malaysia after being selected to replace Jonas Folger, who was forced to withdraw on the eve of the season with Gilbert's syndrome.

Syahrin has been a regular fixture of the Moto2 class since 2014, scoring a best championship position of ninth in 2016 aboard a Petronas-backed Kalex and sealing two podium finishes last year.

He was selected to join Tech3 for last week's second pre-season test in Buriram, after Pedercini World Superbike rider Yonny Hernandez was called up at short notice following the news of Folger's withdrawal.

Syahrin finished the test 21st-fastest, 1.756s off the pace, having knocked 1.6 seconds off his best time from the opening day.

His performance earned praise from Tech3 boss Herve Poncharal, who described Syahrin as the "best solution" the team had available to stand in for the unwell Folger.

"It's been a tough time since we heard from Jonas that unfortunately he decided not to race in 2018 in order to look after his health and try to fully recover," said team boss Herve Poncharal.

"We had to convince all the people around us, that Hafizh is going to be a good MotoGP rider, therefore, we had to give him a tough task during the three days of testing in Buriram.

"In the end, he did a tremendous job, he fulfilled the mission.

"Yamaha was more than happy with his performance and the whole Tech3 team was delighted.

"I am very honored and proud to give him this chance and I know this is going to be something historical, because it's the first time that a Malaysian rider is racing a full season on a MotoGP bike and we know how popular our sport in this part of the world is."

Syahrin will rack up further mileage on the Tech3 Yamaha in the final pre-season test in Qatar on March 1-3 ahead of his MotoGP debut at the same track on March 18.

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