Davide Giugliano To Miss Remainder Of 2015 World Superbike Season

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.

Davide Giugliano

“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.”

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Really a shame. Giugliano was really starting to come good this year, seemingly putting his trying-too-hard-and-crashing-out ways behind him. His transition from slightly erratic wild man to mature, fast racer seemed something of a parallel to that of Anrdrea Ianonne in GP.

Still, that was a hard crash and could have been much worse.

Glad he can still walk. He was definitely lucky since that was a serious tumble. Also unlucky since the Panigale appears to becoming seriously competitive.
Since #27 says he'd never want to do MotoGP again, maybe Ducati should ask him whether he'd like to throw a leg over Davide's V-twin for the remainder of the season. Somebody told me the fish never bite in August.

Really hate to hear that. Glad he is ok because that was one of the nastiest falls I've seen. Hopefully he will retain his ride at Ducati and be back for a strong 2016.

Now that #27 is going to be sitting in a comfy armchair for the next few weeks, I'd go for Marco. He has the best pedigree, and might want to prove something for next year.

Poor Casey! Crappy news. Even w/o the injury, he is firmly and permanently affiliated with Honda as a retired rider. It is like a marraige. Ever seen a retired rider change his affiation w a manufacturer? Nope.

Hopkins is in for a round or two, but the seat is open. Interesting to see that he got himself on a Ducati, tough gig being stuck on the old Suzuki these days. Melandri may have pen in hand with Yamaha which could preclude him. Or not. He is hungry and available and a good option if it works with his Yamaha prospects.

Canepa or Pirro seem more likely. Of course no, it won't be Bayliss or Checa. But perhaps there is someone we haven't thought of too? Refreshing to NOT have the primary consideration be how much money the rider brings with them to a cash strapped team for a change.

Heal up well Giugliano (and Stoner)!

Sure, I know it won't happen here - but maybe in an alternate multiverse. As for: "Ever seen a retired rider change his affiation w/ a manufacturer? Nope."
Remember Mike Hailwood?
And yes, get well soon, C & D.

Perhaps considering his return to racing riding a Ducati, when he'd last been racing for Honda - who paid him a lot of money to NOT race for anybody else when he retired!

But that was really quite accidental- he was cajoled into riding the Castrol 6-hour (an Australian 'endurance' race for production bikes) by an Aussie Ducati racer - and enjoyed it so much he returned to England and a bit of a 'mates and a few beers' arrangement saw him riding a cobbled-up Ducati 900SS in the IOM.

Which he won.

11 years after he retired from bike racing.

^ Thanks Sinbad.
Good stuff!

L Baz needs a ride for the rest of the year too...and his MotoGP future less likely. Perhaps he can get off the sinking Not Getting Money Forward ship?

I think Michele Pirro would be the best option at this point to finish out the season. There are 4 rounds left and Pirro has the most tribal knowledge of the machine to race it well. However, with the turmoil going on over in the GP paddock you could give Bradl a shot if he wanted it. Forward may not be back.

Personally I just don't think Baz will fit on the Panigale and Melandri - Meh - I don't think he has it any more. His effort he put forth on that Aprilia was weak at best. I would not want a guy like that on my bike. I would put Hopper in the saddle before Melandri - at least John is hungry and can still ride. But Pirro is still my first choice.

Moving forward, I think the team Boss is going to have to look very closely at Giugliano and see if he can still do it. He has sustained 2 very serious spinal injuries now, and these are the kinds of injuries that stay with you forever (ask me how I know...). I wish him all the very best of course and since he is a real athlete he has a good chance for a full recovery. But these kinds of things can get into your head. I'm just saying, I would not assume Giugliano is a lock for next year. Especially if you follow the rumor mill and have heard that Nicky Hayden may be coming over to the Superbike paddock, this presents interesting options for the factory Ducati squad.

I agree re Pirro. I will bet you a pint though that you will get suprised by Melandri on his next campaign. "Unjust" suffering can fuel transformation. It is "ego dystonic" and often compartmentalized from self. Then when a new life circumstance is present, BOOM, fuel for the fire. Half a crap season isn't enough to call for a phoenix from ashes comparison, just good old Sublimation. The greatest of defenses of the psyche and soul.

I remember Hayate.

Hey, I will ask - spinal injuries from crashes or something else? Getting around ok?

You bring a very good point, Motoshrink. If Marco sees this as "one more chance" It could light a huge fire underneath him and he could shock us all! In this fresh context I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt. We'll have to wait and see what comes to pass.

Thanks for the inquiry. I did mine on the job. Nasty business, S1 all the way to L3/L4. Took me 2.5 years to recover, I will never be even 80 percent and I am in pain every single day. But I get around OK. And thank Goodness I ride every day as well. Not sport bikes, unfortunately, but I have a GSX1250FA that serves me very well. It's the closest I will get! :-) So I live vicariously through these amazing riders and men like David who writes the poetry we love so much about the sport we love so much.

Like Donald Trump, I'd probably go bust running a casino, but I wouldn't just throw a bag of cash at Marco, and tell him to go for it. I'd give him a ride on the Panigale - and if he was motivated, I'd hand over a thin envelope, and then the lawyers could write up some incentive clauses and suchlike.
If he wants to continue racing, he needs a showcase. 2015 wasn't his best year.

Fine rider, just tries too hard---never really settled down---always on the very edge of control---I hope he recovers well...