PETALING JAYA: New father Hafizh Syahrin is all excited for the start of the World Superbike Championship (WorldSBK) season early next month.
The 27-year-old, who will be the first Malaysian to race all season, welcomed the birth of his first-born son on Thursday.
Hafizh, who is married to Noor Suzana Abdul Manaf, however, will not be able to stay with his family for long as he is due to leave later this month for pre-season testing with his MIE Racing Honda team in Europe.
Bringing a lot of experience to the team as a former MotoGP rider, Hafizh will race alongside Argentinian Leandro Mercado.
Hafizh is feeling optimistic and is aiming high at every turn.
“Being a father brings new responsibilities and new hope for sure,” Hafizh said.
“For now, I will stay focused on racing as the season is about to start.
“I want to finish in the top 10 every race and try to challenge everyone.
“I know rivals from my previous time in MotoGP, in particular Roberto Locatelli (Italy), Alvaro Bautista (Spain) and a few others.
“And there are also new rivals. I want to learn from Toprak (Turkey) because he is young and very fast and also from the legendary rider Jonathan Rea (Ireland).
Razgatlioglu, 25, won the 2021 Superbike World Championship, ending Rea’s six-year reign. Razgatlioglu is the first Turkish world champion in Superbike history.
Rea holds the most race wins (107), fastest laps, podiums and total points (over 5,000 earned through the end of August 2021).
“It’s a big challenge for me but I’ll try to give everything I have.
“I will try to use my MotoGP experience,” said Hafizh, who is also the first Malaysian to race in a WorldSBK race since Adi Haslam raced in Johor in 1993.
The 12-round championship kicks off with the first race in Aragon, Spain, April 8-10.