Tech 3 Racing announced the retention of Hafizh Syahrin for the 2019 MotoGP season after the Malaysian impressed the French outfit in his rookie season where he sits 16th in the championship with 17 points to his name.

The Malaysian made a late graduation to the premier class after Tech 3 were forced to find a replacement for an ill Jonas Folger. Despite the late call, Syahrin has had a sound run in the six races so far.

The 24-year-old has scored in four of the six races and delivered his best result in Argentina finishing inside the Top 10 in ninth – he is also the leading rookie which includes Moto2 title-holder Franco Morbidelli.

“It’s hard for me to say and to believe,” said Syahrin. “First of all, I have to say thank you very much to Herve for trusting in me and giving me this opportunity to stay with the Tech3 family and at the same time to join the KTM family.

“I also have to express a huge thank you to my manager Dato’ Razlan, who helped me to achieve this dream arriving in the MotoGP class, plus thank you to KTM for believing in Herve and in me.

“I will work hard for 2019 and I’ll be better prepared, as this is not as surprising as this season. I’m incredibly happy to get this chance, I even feel close to crying with joy. Thanks to everybody and especially to Herve and Dato’ Razlan for always believing in me.”

Tech 3 team boss Herve Poncharal added: “Today is a very special day for me and for the whole Tech3 team. Since Hafizh jumped on our MotoGP bike, it’s been like a dream, every single day, because he’s been very fast and a lot faster than some people were thinking and we’ve been very proud of what he did.

“I know it was a great achievement for a Malaysian rider to be the first one of his country arriving in the MotoGP class, for his first ever MotoGP race, he scored points and since that day he has been consistently battling for the top rookie spot and apart from that, Hafizh is a very special character.”

As Syahrin and Poncharal mentioned, Tech 3 will switch from Yamaha to KTM from the 2019 season onward as the Malaysian rider will be joined by Moto2 graduate Miguel Oliveira in the satellite outfit, while Johann Zarco and Pol Espargaro forming the factory KTM squad.