These pictures show just why British rider Chaz Davies reluctantly rejected the chance to ride a Ducati GP7 machine in this weekend’s Japanese GP at the Twin Ring Motegi.
Having initially agreed a deal to replaced sacked German Alex Hofmann in the Far East, Davies pulled out of the D’Antin Ducati ride while still suffering with a puncture wound in his left elbow.
Davies suffered the nasty injury while taking part in a two-day test session for Ducati at the Mugello circuit in Italy earlier this month.
He needed extensive treatment before and during the final American Superbike round in Laguna Seca last weekend, and with the wound likely to leave him well below par, he decided to reject the D’Antin Ducati offer.
After initial treatment in Italy, the elbow injury got seriously infected, leaving Davies with a badly swollen left arm. Doctors in America found dirt still inside the wound, which had been stitched. He snapped these pictures while undergoing treatmen in America.
Davies said: “I’ve never felt as bad as I did on the flight to America last week. I was desperately trying to get upgraded as I felt so rough, but they couldn’t so I had to have oxygen on the plane. It got infected and I didn’t feel that good at all in Laguna Seca. It hampered me quite a lot.”
Davies said he had agreed a deal to replace Hofmann, who was sacked on Sunday night in Estoril after his controversial withdrawal, thinking there was a weekend off in between the Portuguese and Japanese races.
“I thought that would have given me plenty of time to have recovered, “said Davies, who is now back in the UK waiting to see if he will be asked to join Alex Barros in the season’s remaining three races in Phillip Island, Sepang and Valencia.
"That is his intention and also Luis D’Antin’s but a deal will be thrashed out next week when the Spanish team boss returns to Europe.
“Obviously I’m disappointed not to be riding as it was another great chance. I didn’t want to accept the ride and not do myself justice.
"The team wanted me to ride and I wanted to ride, but there was no point in going unless I could give it 100 per cent, “added Davies.
D’Antin confirmed he would speak to Davies again next week, and he also confirmed today in the Twin Ring Motegi that a deal to sign Toni Elias was ’99 per cent done’.
If Elias does clinch a deal to join Sylvain Guintoli in 2008, his departure from the Gresini Honda squad would pave the way for Shinya Nakano to partner Alex de Angelis in the Italian team.
Both deals could be confirmed this weekend, meaning the complete 2008 MotoGP world championship grid will be finalised with three races still remaining.