As Davide Giugliano continues his recovery after suffering damage to three vertabre in a Phillip Island testing crash prior to the first round of the 2015 World Superbike season, the Aruba Ducati rider has spoken about what an honour it was for him to be replaced by Troy Bayliss.
“Usually a rider is never pleased to have to be replaced by anyone – it is of course a little frustrating not to be able to get out there and you are kind of jealous that someone else is riding your bike. But to be replaced by somebody like Troy is obviously not bad! He is a living legend in World Superbike and for the Ducatisti to see him returning to competition, even if it only turns out to be for two rounds, is truly amazing. Of course, I don’t like to have to stay at home, but to have Troy riding the bike is an honour for me.”
“Troy is a guy who always gives it everything, regardless of anything else. He is one of those old school racers – quite like myself, in some ways. He gave it everything at Phillip Island, forgetting he wasn’t familiar with the bike, his age or the general difficulties of returning to competition at late notice. In the end, the races didn’t go too badly at all; you could see how hard he wanted to do well and a true Champion never forgets how to go fast.”
The former triple WSB champion returned from retirement for the round, jumping onto the Panigale despite no testing and finishing the weekend with a 13th and 16th finish. He will continue to deputise for the injured Italian at the next round in ten days’ at Thaliand’s new Burinam circuit.
Giugliano, who fractured his L1 and L2 spinal vertebra as well as D12, says that he feels lucky to have walked away relatively unscathed from the crash, and that the push is now on to return to full fitness.
“Recovering from a spinal injury is not exactly easy, but over the last few days I am noticing some marked improvements. At this time the only cures are to rest and have magnetic therapy. In days ten days’ time I will be assessed again to decide whether I can commence with rehabilitation and physiotherapy, if that is deemed necessary. I should be returning at Imola. If I am able to return before, that would be nice, but it is difficult to recover quickly from a back injury like this one. It takes its time. We’ll know more in ten days, after the next medical examinations.”