Podium cheers erase Danial’s fears caused by 2018 crash

PETALING JAYA: Getting on the podium in the second round of the Asia Talent Cup (ATC) in Qatar earlier this month has been the right tonic to get Danial Syahmi Ahmad Shahril (pic) back on the road to full recovery.

Danial showed true grit to finish second twice behind Japan’s Taiyo Furusato in Race 1 and 2 of Round 2 of the ATC championship.

More than the podium finishes, his superb comeback performance took away for good his fear of racing.

The 18-year-old had nearly lost his life after a horrible crash at the season-ending ATC race at Sepang in 2018 and spent 14 months in hospital recovering from leg injuries. The race in Qatar was his first in more than two years.

“When I crossed the finish line, my memories flashed back to the day I crashed in 2018, ” recalled Danial, who rides under the ZK Racing Team in the championship.

“But it was at that point too that I forgot everything when I raced. I nearly cried because I was back on the podium.”

Danial also shared his experience while he was in hospital recovering from his injuries.

“My only thought was to get well faster, get back and fight to win again. I was in a lot of pain after each physio session and needed to take medicines to sleep.

“I’m still recovering my strength but it’s getting better and better. I’m just glad the past is behind me now and I can look forward to future races with more confidence.

“I also want to thank Sepang International Circuit for having faith in me and supporting me to come back to racing, ” said Danial, whose right leg was shortened by 10cm because of the motorcycle crash.

The ATC championship will take a break and only resume in Motegi, Japan, in October this year.

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