“A good thing to learn from and grow up a bit” – Petrucci sees upsides after training crash, provides recovery update

After missing the last MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship round through injuries sustained in a training accident, Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) has opened up about the crash, how his recovery is going and lessons he’s learnt from the incident. ‘Petrux’ also discussed how he felt watching substitute rider Nicholas Spinelli win on his bike as well as how, after competing in and watching from the sidelines this season, WorldSBK is shaping up in 2024.

THE RECOVERY: “at least it’s good because I’m losing quite a lot of weight!”

Petrucci went under the knife following his training crash in Italy, which resulted in the #9 suffering a fractured jaw, collarbone, and shoulder blade but he was discharged from hospital in mid-April after two surgeries. Providing an update on his recovery and explaining when he wants to be back on track, Petrucci said when speaking on May 2nd: “I have no more stitches. I can’t chew. I can eat but only small and soft things. At least it’s good because I’m losing quite a lot of weight! I need to keep my shoulder still so I can’t move it for another 15 days. I did an MRI, and I don’t have any issues with the ligaments and the tendons, but the shoulder blade needs to be still because it needs to be fixed naturally. I mostly have to wait and see if the shoulder blade, the fracture, heals and I can push on my arm. The Misano test is still the target. We haven’t got a lot of time, but we can be at the test at the end of the month. I’m doing a lot of therapy. In my home, I have a magnetotherapy, it feels like a magnetic field where I lie down during the night, and I have some stuff to put on the broken bone. I’m taking a lot of supplements for vitamins to help the bones to repair. We are doing everything to try to be at the Misano test.”

THE CRASH: “I landed on the ramp of the next jump, like a hammer hitting a nail”

After explaining some details about the crash in the video he posted when he was released from hospital, the four-time WorldSBK podium finisher expanded on that in the interview with WorldSBK.com. He said “It was a big accident, really. I’ve been unlucky because I made that mistake once, you’ll make it one time in your life, and it happened to me. It was a bad area of this motocross track. It was like a ski jump. The faster you go, the higher you are, so I was really afraid. The last thing I remember was being up in the air. I just landed on the ramp of the next jump, like a hammer hitting a nail, so I smashed myself on the ramp of the other jump. I don’t remember anything, just that I was about 15 metres up in the air and I had nothing to do; I just had to wait to go into the floor.”

REFLECTING ON THE ACCIDENT: “I’m happier now than before”

Despite the seriousness of the crash, Petrucci was also philosophical about the events and believed there were lessons for him to learn. He continued: “I’ve been lucky because I have no injuries on my leg or my back, this is the most important thing, and I was especially lucky too because I received this hit on my head just a few centimetres from my neck bones. I smashed my jaw in the only part where the helmet was not protecting me. I smashed my face on the handlebar, and it was a really, I think, lucky accident. I smashed my jaw in three pieces, there’s a smashed collarbone in two and the shoulder blade is broken. This is the most difficult thing to repair, the shoulder blade, because the jaw is fixed by plates and screws and the collarbone, but the shoulder blade is still broken. I need to keep it still. I think I’m happier now than before. It gives me the strength and I think it was a good thing to learn from and to grow up a bit to not risk as much, change my training a bit and be calmer. I say, ‘at 34 years old, I don’t need to be stronger, but smarter’. I was not doing that. I was just training to be stronger and stronger.”

SEEING BARNI’S FIRST WIN FROM AFAR: “I was really happy to watch that race!”

With Petrucci missing out on the Dutch Round, his Barni Ducati team drafted in Nicholas Spinelli for his WorldSBK debut, and he made the most of it. A stunning tyre gamble in Race 1 – using an all-intermediate combination – coupled with a red flag just as his rivals closed on him allowed Spinelli to win on debut and take the team’s first World Superbike win. Petrucci spoke candidly about watching this from afar, stating he was happy for Team Manager Marco Barnabo – affectionately known as ‘Barni’ – after he was one of the first to visit him after the crash.

He said: “I was happy for Spinelli and Barni. Barni was one of the first guys to come to the hospital to see my condition, and he was sad because we were in a good moment. We were fighting for the podiums and the top five. Assen is one of my favourite tracks. I think, in the end, we’ve been unlucky with the accident but, on the other hand, lucky. Maybe someone up in the air looked down and decided this was our lucky week, for me because I escaped a really bad accident and for Barni, who lost one rider for that race, but he won his first race. I was happy to watch that race.”

WorldSBK IN 2024: “you never know who’s going to win or stand on the podium…”

After racing for two rounds this season, and watching a third from home, Petrucci was able to give his thoughts on WorldSBK in 2024, saying: “It’s nice to watch WorldSBK. I told everyone at the start of the season that I think there are at least 12 different riders who can get on the podium and a lot of them can win races. It’s really challenging to join in because you can be in the top three and, in the next session, in 12th. It’s hard but it’s nice to watch for the fans because you never know who’s going to win or stand on the podium. From the inside, it’s nice, but hard because we’re all close so it’s really difficult to create a gap. Even if you are in tenth place, you can still fight for the podium, because everyone is close on race pace. The new rules have given a bit more competition.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

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