KUALA LUMPUR: It’s not the end of the road for Zulfahmi Khairuddin, once the golden boy of Malaysian motorcycle racing.
Sepang International Circuit (SIC) chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali may reignite Zulfahmi’s fading career by giving him a chance to race in Moto2 next year.
Razlan disclosed that a contract extension for Zulfahmi and a partner for him will both depend on his performance this year.
Razlan is pleased with what he has seen so far after Zulfahmi joined SIC Racing Team as a last minute replacement for Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah earlier this month. Hafizh has left for MotoGP outfit Monster Yamaha Tech 3.
"Actually the plan was for him (Zulfahmi) to be a talent scout and coach for our youngsters in the Impian ke MotoGP programme.
“But the chance given to Hafizh (to race in MotoGP) had indirectly extended to him in Moto2. I just can't seem to get away from this guy," jested Razlan, who has been overseeing Zulfahmi’s career since the late 2000s.
"He took this opportunity to put his career back on track and has been working very hard since then.
"Valencia (test) was tough as the weather did not allow for much to be done but he did well in the Sepang test and was less than two seconds off last years pole position time, which is considered good.
"Zulfahmi is on a one-year contract now but I will not discount the fact that I will fight for a second bike to race alongside him in the team next season if he does well."
Razlan said Moto3 rider Adam Norrodin, who is competing with Petronas Sprinta Racing this year, is among those that will be considered for the second slot.
Zulfahmi rode for six seasons in the 125cc and Moto3 of the World Championships from 2010 to 2015 but struggled to impress in the later years.
He then spent two seasons in the World Superbike Championships in 2016-2017 in the Supersports category but was again largely unimpressive, which had then signalled the end of his career at world level.
SIC earlier this year appointed Zulfahmi as project leader for their Impian ke MotoGP talent development programme which he was to manage while also competing in the Asia Road Racing Championships with his own team, ZK Racing.