NSI chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz (right) says Mohd Zulfahmi Khairuddin needs nine to 12 weeks to recover from his injury.
A DIFFERENT VIEW: SIC boss believes Moto3 rider's chance to race in Sepang is better if he had stayed in Spain for treatmentMOHD Zulfahmi Khairuddin's start in the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix this weekend could have been secured had he remained in Spain for treatment on his fractured wrist instead of coming home.
In stating that the National Sports Institute (NSI) lacked expertise in treating motorsports-related injuries, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Razlan Ahmad Razali said the decision now could be up to Zulfahmi himself.
Red Bull-KTM-Ajo's Zulfahmi injured his wrists and his back in a spectacular crash that ended his Moto3 race in the Aragon Grand Prix two weeks ago. He underwent surgery at the Universitario Quiron Dexeus Hospital in Barcelona but was flown home to continue treatment at the NSI.
NSI chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz had stated on Monday that Zulfahmi would require nine to 12 weeks to recover.
That prompted a defiant response from Zulfahmi, who is determined to hop on his bike and race in front of his home crowd at Sepang this weekend.
"The decision to bring him home for further treatment was a mistake. We should have left him there to be treated and undergo physiotherapy there to be ready for this weekend's race," said Razlan at the unveiling of the impressive handmade Royal Selangor pewter trophies for this weekend's Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Also present were SIC chairman Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir and Moto2 riders Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah and Azlan Shah Kamarulzaman along with Moto3 wildcards Amirul Hafiq Azmi and Husni Aizat Abdul Malik.
"The doctors in Spain have the expertise to treat motorsport-related injuries and they understand the need to work to get the rider to be able to ride quickly as they go through a season of 19 races.
"Sometimes we see riders with broken ankles and various injuries but they are still able to ride. This is down to the expertise available."
Razlan said while expectations are high, Zulfahmi's condition means that all that should be expected is for the Banting-born rider to be able to ride to the finish in his fifth appearance at the race since his debut as a wildcard in 2009.
"Under these circumstances, my personal expectations are for him to just finish the race. Of course last year was memorable when he got his first ever podium by finishing second, but that would be tough," said Razlan.
Read more: MOTORCYCLING: Zulfahmi's hopes left in tatters - Racing - New Straits Times