Following the official announcement that Brad Binder will take over his Tech3 KTM MotoGP seat next season, Hafizh Syahrin is planning a return to the Moto2 class in 2020.

Syahrin was plucked from the intermediate category at the start of 2018, becoming Malaysia's first premier-class rider when he got a last-minute call to replace Jonas Folger at Tech3 Yamaha.

A solid job on the M1 saw Syahrin re-signed by Tech3 for its new KTM era, but he has struggled to adapt to the more aggressive RC16, scoring just three points compared to 15 for rookie team-mate Miguel Oliveira.

"For sure we don't have a space in MotoGP," Syahrin said at Brno on Thursday. "The team has decided to take Brad Binder. I respect their decision and I want to continue the second half of the season with a good result before I leave.

"I've known this team since the start of last year, not really long, but when you come into this team it's like a family. I will miss them but this is part of racing, you can still meet them in the paddock.

"At the moment we are talking to two or three teams in Moto2. I would like to stay in this championship, and also I want to stay with a good team and try to show my potential back in Moto2.

"In 2017 I was not so bad, but we want to do better than that if I go back to Moto2."

Syahrin, who said a switch to Superbikes was not currently in his mind, made his Moto2 debut a wild-card in 2011, claimed his first podium the following year and becoming a full-time Moto2 rider in 2014.

Although he took two of his three Moto2 rostrums during 2017, his best championship ranking of ninth came a year earlier.

Syahrin confirmed he may yet remain with Tech3, by joining their KTM Moto2 team, while a switch to the Sepang-run Petronas Moto2 team is another possibility.

"I speak with Herve [about Moto2]. Also I speak with Razlan [Razali, Sepang CEO]," Syahrin said.

"At the moment it's difficult to say 100%. I need to wait for this race and the next and then I'll know if I go with Razlan, or Tech3 in Moto2, or another team in Moto2."

While Tech3 uses the KTM chassis, Petronas run the Kalex.

"For me, if it's KTM or Kalex in Moto2 it will be good because these two chassis are already strong," said Syahrin.

Despite losing his ride, the 25-year-old backed KTM to make a success of MotoGP.

"They are working really hard to bring the KTM to the top. It's not easy to fight with the other manufacturers in MotoGP, but they are pushing really hard and sooner or later they will be strong.

"I would like to wish them all the best and will be happy to see another manufacturer at the front because it would be interesting for the fans and for MotoGP."

WTCR-Sepang 8 Hours double header

Shortly after his final MotoGP appearance (at least for the foreseeable future) at Valencia in November, Syahrin will take on a unique challenge in the form of a double car and bike entry in the combined World Touring Car Cup/Sepang 8 Hours race weekend in mid-December.

"It will be completely new for me to drive the WTCR car. It won't be easy. It's like a Moto2 category where from the 1st rider until 20th is under one second so I'm not sure where I can finish but it's something new to try, like Dovi tried a DTM and Rossi does the Monza Rally," Syahrin said.

"So it will be good for me to try new things. I'm not saying I want to change my career, for sure I like motorbikes! It's more interesting and challenging to race. If you crash you fall on the ground whereas in the car you just spin.

"It won't be easy to race two categories on the same weekend, it will be hard for me to adapt and I'll use a lot of energy on the motorbike. But the cars will be a sprint races, 1-2-3.

"We will test in November in Sepang. As a wild-card driver we can test. So it will be good for me to learn the car. I will drive a Volkswagen. It won't be easy but I'll try to adapt as soon as possible, try to at least be ready for the race."

Syahrin said he does not yet know the identity of his 8 Hours team: "I cannot say now because my management are still talking for a place in the 8 Hours with a good team."

 

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