MotoGP rookie Hafizh Syahrin made up eight places on the opening lap in Argentina, paving the way for his first top ten finish in the premier-class.

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider began just 23rd on the grid, but made short work of many more experienced riders on his way to 9th place by lap 9.

The Malaysian then spent the closing stages in a close battle for sixth with Andrea Dovizioso, Tito Rabat, Andrea Iannone and Danilo Petrucci.

“I’m so happy about the result today!" Syahrin said.

"I pushed really hard all the weekend, the team did a very good job. I felt truly strong this weekend, we only struggled in qualifying, because I didn’t find good grip to stop the bike in a decent way.

"For the race I was fully motivated, I pushed and when I saw that I was in P15 after the first lap, I was surprised.

"My pace was really strong and I was able to follow the Factory Yamaha quite easily, but it was difficult to pass the Ducati, because it’s very fast on the straight. I tried it many times, but it was not possible.

"In the end P9 is a really amazing result for me, I have a fantastic feeling with the team and want to pass my congratulations to Johann [Zarco] for his podium.

"We are very happy and leave Argentina with a great result. I hope I can do also a good race in Austin and will continue to work hard on myself.”

Team boss Herve Poncharal felt Syahrin had been "a bit too nervous for the qualifying" but was proud of his performance in the race.

"Starting from almost last to finish the race in ninth position, fighting with all the factory guys, I think this is something that is going to boost his confidence" Poncharal said.

"I’m very proud of him and I’m very proud to have selected him for the season, because he is showing, that when you have the right attitude coming from this fantastic Moto2 class, you can have a lot of dreams.”

LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami was the next best rookie, in 13th.



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