KUALA LUMPUR: With much at stake next year, Moto2 rider Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah is hoping his new status as a married man will help spur him to greater heights in the sport.
Hafizh tied the knot with model Noor Suzana Abdul Manaf, 23, earlier this week and held a wedding reception for family, friends, team members and sponsors at Dewan Sri Iskandar in Setiawangsa earlier tonight.
Among those in attendance were Sepang International Circuit (SIC) chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali, fellow riders Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Adam Norrodin, Zaqhwan Zaidi and Paralympic gold medalist Ziyad Zolkefli.
Hafizh, who met Suzana via Instagram two years ago, said he is eager to realise his ambition of becoming a world class rider.
"Some may say that people lose focus once they get married and settle down, but for me, it is added motivation to do well on the track," said Hafizh.
"I shoulder more responsibility now as both a husband and a rider, and my wife understands that there is a lot of sacrifices to be made if one is to succeed.
"Apart from getting married, I am also looking forward to competing with my new team next year.
"I understand that I have a chance to race in MotoGP in 2019 if I do well next season. I am also determined to repay the faith that everyone has shown me.”
After spending a decade with Petronas Raceline, Hafizh will be joining the SIC-managed Petronas Sprinta Racing team next year.
SIC have placed high hopes on Hafizh and are looking to groom him to make the step up to the premier class in 2019 if he can perform well in Moto2 next season.
Hafizh struggled in the first-half of this season but came back strong in the second-half, which saw him notching podium finishes in San Marino and Motegi. It was enough to see him end the season in 10th place overall with 106 points.