SEPANG: Drive M7 SIC Racing have named Japanese youngster Ayumu Sasaki as the rider to replace Jakub Kornfeil in the Moto3 team next season.
The Kanagawa-born youth has shown great promise in recent years, having emerged the overall winner in the Red Bull Rookies Cup this season after coming in third in the series last season. He won the Asia Talent Cup (ATC) last year and was fourth in 2014.
Sasaki will ride alongside Adam Norrodin in the SIC team next year. Adam, who is two years older, had also competed in the ATC in 2014-2015 and is good friends with the Japanese rider.
Sasaki said he is hoping to make an impact in his first season in Moto3.
"Of course, being my first year (next season), it will be quite tough for me, as there is a lot I need to learn," said Sasaki.
"My target is to finish in the top 10 in all the races. I will train hard over the off season to prepare for the first race in Qatar (March).
SIC chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali said Sasaki was highly recommended by Honda, who supply the team's bikes, and MotoGP rights holder, Dorna.
Kornfeil, who is in his second year with the SIC, will race for Peugeot Saxoprint next season.
Sasaki, Adam, Kornfeil and Razlan took part in a cycling session at the Sepang Circuit this morning, as part of their preparation for the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, which starts tomorrow.
Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah, Dani Pedrosa, Aleix Espagaro, Stefan Bradl, Alvaro Bautista, Danilo Petrucci and Pol Espagaro were the other riders who participated in the event, together with national cyclist Fatehah Mustapa.