Syahrin delights massive crowd
Local hero Hafizh Syahrin delighted a biggest-ever crowd at a Malaysian grand prix by bringing his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine home inside the top ten for one of his best-ever Motogp results.
The Malaysian received a warm reception from the 104,000-strong crowd by coming home just behind Jack Miller and Danilo Petrucci.
Visibly tense and looking to be carrying the expectations of the whole crowd on his shoulders before the race, Syahrin admitted that it had been difficult to manage his feelings but it was worth the extra stress to be able to reward his fans.
“On the grid, I was feeling a little emotional and even cried a bit before the race. When I saw my father on the grid I cried again, but after that I knew I had to give everything and do a good job. The fans believed in me and I’m so happy I was able to repay them.”
Motorcycle racing in the region has gone through a huge upsurge in popularity with crowds at Sepang going from 20,000 to over 100,000 since the inaugural race in 2001.
And while Syahrin’s result might be the high point of Malaysian racing to date, it’s just the latest step in a comprehensive, government-backed plan to deliver a local world champion, a plan that in 2019 sees the Petronas-sponsored Se pang International Circuit team enter the premier class with Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo aboard factory-supported Yamaha machines.
‘The fans believed in me. I’m so happy I was able to repay them’
Local Tech 3 rider notched one of his best results yet Fans gave Syahrin a hero’s reception