Sepang International Circuit (SIC) has started laying the groundwork for Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah to make the step up to MotoGP in 2019. (pix by LUQMAN HAKIM ZUBIR

KUALA LUMPUR: Sepang International Circuit (SIC) has started laying the groundwork for Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah to make the step up to MotoGP in 2019.

Its chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali said SIC has expressed the intention with MotoGP rights holders Dorna as well as a number of MotoGP teams.

Hafizh, who has been a full season rider in Moto2 for Petronas Raceline since 2014, will be joining the Petronas Sprinta Racing Moto2 team next year. Petronas Sprinta, which is managed by SIC, intends to groom Hafizh for MotoGP.

"We have expressed our interest with Dorna and have also discussed the matter with a number of MotoGP teams this past week," said Razlan.

"We have to start to process early as the slots for 2018 have already been filled up.

"There are still slots available for new satellite teams in 2019 and we are weighing our options".

Razlan added that he is confident that Hafizh will do much better with Sprinta Racing next year in what should be his final season in Moto2 before making the step up to the premier class.

"Obviously our Malaysian riders are strong in the wet, but we also need them to do well in dry races.

"Hafizh has done well (in a mixed weather race) here at Sepang. This is what we want.

"I believe Hafizh will do better next year as we will be providing him with a better bike and mechanics."

Petronas Sprinta have already set him a target of finishing in the top five in the overall Moto2 standings next year.

Hafizh, who lined up 10th on the grid, finished sixth in the Moto2 race at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix yesterday.

1,274 reads