Petrucci provides fitness update: “Under braking, the shoulder was painful… need to work on it”

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) made his first MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship return at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” as the WorldSBK field descended on Italy for the first of two days of testing. It marked the #9’s first on-track action since a training accident back in April left him injured and unable to compete at Assen, with Petrucci providing an update on his fitness and recovery on Thursday at Misano.

Petrucci was left with shoulder and jaw injuries following a motocross accident and he provided an update on those in the weeks leading up to the Misano test. With the Italian back on his Panigale V4 R machine at Misano, Petrucci completed 19 laps in the morning, the fewest of anyone on WorldSBK machinery on Thursday with a best time of 1’34.508s. In the afternoon, he added another 10 laps to his total although didn’t improve his lap time although the laps did come in one stint.

Discussing how he felt on the bike, ‘Petrux’ said: “It’s like having two people inside me because physically I feel good with 90% of the body. The problem is my right arm. I was able to do 10 laps in a row but now I can’t hold the handlebar. It’s really painful. On the mental side, I’m really happy. First, I re-joined my bike and my team, and I had a good day. There was no pressure; the pressure was inside my head because I wanted to see how my shape was. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the day after two laps, I was in pain. We modified the position a bit and I was able to ride in the 1’34s with a race tyre but I was not able to do more than three or four laps because, under braking, the shoulder was really, really painful. I need to work a lot on my shoulder. I think it was one of the first times I was riding and feeling a lot of pain. I thought I’d be tired and not fit but it’s the opposite! I’m really fit because I’ve worked out at home, but the right arm isn’t working after a few laps.”

With the first day in the bag, Petrucci was asked about his plans for both testing tomorrow, and in the days and weeks leading up to his home round, the Emilia-Romagna Round, at the same venue. ‘Petrux’ revealed he was flying to Indonesia for Ducati where he’ll get a bit more mileage under his belt – although only an hour per day for three days – before returning to Europe for the Misano round where he’ll hope to be at full fitness.

Petrucci added: “I’ll try to do half a day tomorrow and at lunchtime, we’ll see. We did a full day today but, in the afternoon, I was able to do 10 laps, I re-joined for a lap, and I felt a lot of pain. I feel, off the bike, a lot of pain. Let’s see tomorrow morning if I recover well or not. These days, we’ll continue working with my therapy and then on Tuesday, I’ll go to the Ducati riding experience so at least I have a chance to ride a bike for three days at Mandalika. I’m one of the teachers and I have one rider to teach, so they said I have one hour each day to ride. On Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, I’ll ride the bike. I think it’s better for the body to feel the heat and so on, and then I’ll come to Misano.”

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