There's v-room for more excitement after a year of highs - and lows

Last update: 21/12/2018

By Ahmad Syabil Sultan Noordin Ahmad and Ahmad Nazrin Syahmi Mohamad Arif

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 (Bernama) -- The year 2018 proved to be a breakthrough year for young motorcycle ace Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah when he created history by becoming the first Malaysian to compete in a full season of the MotoGP championship.

The Selangor rider did all Malaysians proud in his maiden season with team Monster Yamaha Tech3 when he nearly won the Rookie of the Year title after the final race of the season – the Valencia Grand Prix – in November.

Alas, Hafizh had to be content with finishing second, just four points behind EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli, in the race for the Rookie of the Year crown.

Having joined Monster Yamaha Tech3 as a late replacement for Jonas Folger at the beginning of the season, nothing much was expected of Hafizh, not when he was up against the likes of 2017 Moto2 world champion Morbidelli (Italy), 2017 Moto2 runner-up Thomas Luthi (Switzerland) and Takaaki Nakagami (Japan).

Hafizh, though, managed to finish 10th in four races – at Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina), Motegi (Japan),  Sepang (Malaysia) and Valencia (Spain) this season to be placed 16th overall with 46 points.....