World Superbike

Giugliano Doubtful For 2015 Season Opener

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Davide Giugliano’s participation in the opening round of the 2015 World Superbike Championship is in serious doubt after a heavy crash on Monday at Phillip Island. The Italian suffered a highside on the exit of MG hairpin, landing heavily on his back and a CAT scan revealed two small fractures to his L1 and L2 vertebrae.

Giugliano will see a specialist at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne today to determine his recovery schedule and the Ducati rider admits he doesn’t know whether he will be able to take his place on Sunday’s grid.

“I’m very upset about this afternoon’s crash because things had been going very well. I had good feeling with the bike by the end of session one and I was able to lap with consistently fast times. It was a bad fall and this evening’s CAT has unfortunately revealed two tiny fractures, so I’m really worried that this might compromise my first races of the 2015 season.”

Teammate Chaz Davies steered clear of such problems to set the seventh fastest time, two tenths slower than Giugliano, and the Welshman expects to show more of the Panigale’s potential on Tuesday.

“Things are moving in the right direction. We’ve introduced a new component here, a slightly different swing-arm, and so we’ve focused on setting up the bike around this new part. We haven’t concentrated on lap times, as today’s work has been centred around establishing set-up with a view to race distance. We started to see some progress later in the day but there’s still more to do. Tomorrow we’ll continue to work on the chassis in order to improve rear tyre life, something that’s always critical here at Phillip Island. Once we’ve sorted a few things out we’ll be doing a long-run to see exactly what point we’re at…”

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