16-year-old Malaysian Izam Ikmal will make his grand prix debut at this weekend's Valencia season finale, having been called up by the Petronas Sprinta Sepang team in place of the injured Adam Norrodin.

"We have decided to place Izam as the replacement rider for Adam for the last MotoGP round in Valencia," confirmed Sepang CEO Razlan Razali.

"We are not expecting anything special but more for Izam to gain experience and continue his development on the Moto3 machine and especially before the last round of the CEV in Valencia, which is one week later.

"It is better to the take risk with our own development rider than other nationalities, otherwise it defeats the purpose of having a development program."

“Firstly I would like to thank Dato Razlan and Zulfahmi [Khairuddin] for this amazing opportunity and making my dreams come true, not forgetting all at Petronas Sprinta Racing," Ikmal said.

"I’m really happy and excited to be able to compete in the Moto3 category at Valencia this weekend. It’s a great opportunity for me to learn more about the track and race with other top Moto3 riders.

"I will do my best. I would also like to wish Adam Norrodin a speedy recovery.”

Ikmal will ride alongside Ayumu Sasaki, who will continue at the Sepang team in 2019 alongside new team-mate John McPhee.

“I’m really looking forward to the last race in Valencia," said Sasaki, who has his sights set on a rostrum finish. "Valencia is one of my favourite tracks and this is my last chance to fight for the podium in 2018.

"We’ve had a very positive year and I feel like we have taken a big step, so of course I want to finish the season on a high. I am going to give it everything I have. I am focused on my target and ready to work hard.”

 

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