2015 has not been kind to Davide Giugliano. The factory Ducati rider was already forced to miss the first four rounds of the season after fracturing two lumbar vertebrae in testing crash at Phillip Island, a week before the season began. Now he will be forced to miss the remainder of the season, after scans revealed a fracture of the thoracic vertebra D3, sustained in a crash at Laguna Seca.
Giugliano crashed during race 2 at Laguna Seca, cartwheeling spectacularly through the gravel at Turn 6 when a few spots of rain started to fall at the circuit. Though he was initially only diagnosed with some heavy bruising, upon his return to Italy, the Aruba.it Ducati man decided to have another scan, in part to ensure that no further damage had been done to the vertebrae he injured back in February. The scan turned up a fracture of a different vertebra, however, and Giugliano was told that the recovery period would be three months. That effectively put an end to his 2015 season, ruling him out of the remainder of the races.
With the Malaysian round of WSBK due to take place on 2nd August, there was not sufficient time to find a replacement for Giugliano. At the following round, on 20th September at Jerez, official Ducati test rider Michele Pirro will take the Italian's place. No decision has been taken on Giugliano's replacement at the final two rounds of the year, at Magny-Cours and Qatar, but as they are both in October, there is time for Ducati to choose a rider.
Below is the official press release on Giugliano's injury:
Davide Giugliano is forced to interrupt his 2015 SBK season
- Further radiology tests reveal that Davide Giugliano has fractured the D3 vertebra
- The official Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team rider will not be substituted for the Malaysian round at Sepang
- Michele Pirro to ride the Panigale R at the eleventh SBK round at Jerez de la Frontera
Arezzo/Bologna (Italy), Friday 24 July 2015: A series of comprehensive and specialist medical checks have, unfortunately, revealed a fracture of the D3 vertebra for Davide Giugliano. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team rider, the victim of a crash in the second race of the American round at Laguna Seca, is therefore forced to interrupt his 2015 racing season, given the doctors’ prognosis of three months recovery time.
The fracture, not visible in the initial examination that took place at the racetrack, was a consequence of the crash that took place during race 2 on Sunday 19 July at Laguna Seca. Davide Giugliano was immediately examined by local doctors who also carried out a radiography of his spine but no serious injuries were identified, except for contusions to the left foot and right knee. Given the nature of the crash and the previous accident at Phillip Island – in which the rider suffered fractures of the L1 and L2 vertebrae, missing the first four rounds as a result – the rider, together with the Team, decided to undergo more in-depth tests on his return from the USA. Unfortunately the MRI and CAT scans carried out on Thursday 23 July have revealed a fracture of the D3 vertebra. The fracture will prevent Giugliano from riding his bike for three months, which means he will be unable to race for the remainder of the 2015 championship.
The Italian squad will not replace Davide for the upcoming event taking place at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia on 2 August, but has decided to entrust the second Panigale R to Michele Pirro, already a frontrunner when he participated as a wildcard at the Misano SBK round, for the following round, scheduled to take place at the Spanish track of Jerez de la Frontera on 20 September.
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team wishes Davide a speedy recovery.
“I am of course extremely disappointed right now… Clearly 2015 was not my season. There is no point grieving over it anyway, that’s that and the important thing is that once again the trauma will not result in any long-term damage. It will take a bit more time, but I hope to recover quickly and be back riding my Panigale soon.”