KUALA LUMPUR: Rising star Danial Syahmi Sharil's motorcycling career could be tragically cut short by injuries suffered in a crash during the season-ending race of the Asia Talent Cup (ATC) at Sepang Circuit yesterday.
Sepang International Circuit chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali disclosed that Danial suffered serious injuries to his lower left leg.
"Danial was involved in an accident on the front straight and his injury is quite critical to the point that I think it might end his career,” said Razlan.
"He was sent by helicopter to Hospital Kuala Lumpur after the accident.
"It is very sad as he is one of the riders we have been expecting to do well in the future. We had planned to move him up to Red Bull (Rookies Cup) if he had won (at Sepang and CEV).
"He is one of the five riders that Zulfahmi Khairuddin has been developing since the end of last year (via Impian ke MotoGP programme).”
The 16-year-old Danial underwent surgery last night, with doctors removing fractured bones in his leg.
Danial was following race leader Haruki Noguchi closely in the final straight and looked set to overtake the Japanese.
But as Danial pulled out of Haruki's slipstream, the latter swerved to his left and clipped Danial, causing him to crash. Danial was then struck by another bike, which caused the serious injuries.
Haruki went on to cross the line first but was not credited with the win. Race officials found the Japanese guilty of irresponsible riding and he was slapped with a 27 seconds penalty which moved him down to 12th in the final race results.
Danial had earlier won both races at the Buriram circuit (round 4). He ended the season fourth overall from 22 riders in the series. The ATC is a feeder series for young riders hoping to work their way up to MotoGP.