Former MotoGP and current Moto2 rider Hafizh Syahrin will join WorldSBK in 2022 alongside Leandro Mercado at MIE Racing Honda.

The Malaysian rider, who competed in MotoGP during the 2018-19 seasons, has been back in Moto2 for the last two seasons. 

After taking three podiums during his first stint in Moto2 (2011-17), the 27-year-old has found his return to the intermediate class to be a tough one aboard Speed UP (2020)  and NTS machinery - has a best of ninth at Brno and Mugello. 

But with Honda making huge strides forward in WorldSBK this season, it’s a ‘new challenge’ that could be just what Syahrin needs.

"I would like to thank the team, Midori Moriwaki especially, and Honda for the belief and trust they put in me," said Syarhin. 

"I am sure we will be able to work well together and hopefully produce good results. I will do my very best as always. 

"This will be a new challenge for me, and I am enthusiastic about getting started! I would like to thank all the sponsors, my family, friends, and the fans as well for their continuous support – I know everyone is as excited as I am! Bring it on! Thank you everyone."

The MIE Honda outfit has previously been just a one-rider team, but with the retention of Argentine rider Mercado alongside Syahrin, it means Honda will now field four bikes in 2022.

The other two are in the shape of Team HRC’s factory rides and will be occupied by Grand Prix riders Iker Lecuona, the man who replaced Syahrin in MotoGP and Xavi Vierge. 

After being confirmed for what will be his second year with the team, Mercado said: "I am very happy to continue with the MIE Racing Honda Team and with this project in the Superbike World Championship. 

"I think we have done a good job this year and made consistent progress, but we still have more to do and more to give! 

"We can, and must, get better results and for this reason it is important to be able to continue working on this project, which gives me so much motivation.

"I want to thank Midori Moriwaki for believing in me, the whole team for the great work they do, and the sponsors for their support. For my part, I will give 100% to continue our growth."