Datuk Razlan Razali explained that after Petronas pulled out from being the main sponsor for the coming season, SIC worked very hard in finding new prospective sponsors to ensure Hafizh can continue to compete at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing. (pix by SAIRIEN NAFIS)

SEPANG: Sepang International Circuit (SIC) chief executive officer, Datuk Razlan Razali has confirmed that the sponsorship issue surrounding Malaysian Moto2 rider Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah is almost settled as a few companies have stepped forward expressing their willingness to finance the 24-year-old rider racing exploits.

Razlan explained that after Petronas pulled out from being the main sponsor for the coming season, SIC worked very hard in finding new prospective sponsors to ensure Hafizh can continue to compete at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing.

However Razlan did not disclose any further details about the new prospective sponsors except for the fact that an official announcement will be made in the near future.

"There are no more doubts or questions about Hafizh’ sponsorship and he will proceed to race and compete in Moto2 this year.

"In fact, he will return to Barcelona on Tuesday or Wednesday to continue and complete pre-season training and preparations before returning to Malaysia by the middle of next month for testing in Sepang.

"It has always been our prerogative to develop and nurture the talents of budding Malaysian riders by finding sponsors for them. But I cannot reveal more on the main sponsor because we are in the final stages.

"InsyaAllah, after everything has been settled I will announce Hafizh new sponsor very soon,” he said when met at the Impian ke Moto GP programme together with Zulfahmi Khairuddin which took place at Sepang International Go-Kart circuit here earlier today.

Prior to this, National oil and gas company Petronas had announced that they would not be sponsoring Hafizh for the coming Moto2 season and instead will only sponsor grassroots development such as SIC’s racing team that competes in the Moto3 class.

The announcement brought about a lot of question marks as well as concerns about the potential damage to the young rider’s budding career.

Meanwhile, Razlan expressed satisfaction with the Impian ke Moto GP programme spearheaded by experienced rider, Zulfahmi Khairuddin.

The special talent programme which is along the lines of popular television programme 'American Idol' has been created to identify budding young riders with both talent and potential to be molded into future MotoGP riders.

"From what I see today, the response has been very, very encouraging where aspiring riders between the ages of 13-15 years-old have turned up. Zulfahmi will act as the montor and select five of the best riders and train them in the hope that they can succeed all the way up to the highest level,” he said.

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