Whilst testing at Phillip Island during the winter, Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci severely damaged his right hand when he fell at turn eight tumbling into the gravel trap and receiving compound fractures to his second, third and fourth metacarpal on his right hand.
The Italian's hand swelled severely and he had to wait several days before it could be operated on at Alfred Hospital, Melbourne. Doctors had no option but to insert approximately fourteen pins into Petrucci’s hand in order to help the healing process. The incident took place on Saturday 20th February and the plan was for Petrucci to be in the best shape ahead of the season opener in Qatar a month later.
Petrucci sustained more damage in Qatar
Petrucci travelled to Qatar for the opening round and began like everyone else to participate in Free Practice ahead of qualifying and the race. He made it as far as Free Practice 3 but was unable to continue as he re-damaged his hand due to the sheer stress it is put under when riding a MotoGP bike. Petrucci had to undergo further surgery which now left him with twenty screws and two plates in his right hand.
Petrucci was forced to miss the first four rounds due to his injury and the rehabilitation he then had to go through. He was replaced by Michele Pirro who did a superb job in his place as he sits in sixteenth place in the championship with twelve points; his best result so far was when he finished eighth at the Circuit of the Americas in a crash filled event.
Petrucci is set to make his return
The Italian is set to make his long awaited return to the MotoGP at the fifth round at Le Mans, France. Petrucci said he has “trained a lot in the last few weeks” and he is due to make his return after patiently allowing his hand to heal this time saying, “This time I did things more calmly, waiting for my body to give me permission to train.”
Petrucci is “happy to be back” and says he feels good. He plans to take a cautious approach saying, “We must see the reaction to the first impact with the track as the intense workout made at home certainly cannot be compared to a race weekend.” Despite his cautious approach, Petrucci said, “I am very confident.”
Thanks on behalf of Petrux
The Italian Ducati rider is very grateful of all of those who have supported him in in his recovery. This includes his trainer Marco Baglioni and Petruci’s brother Francesco who he said has been “pushing me every day” as he has trained. He is also thankful to, “The medical team of Terni who provided me with all the tools for physiotherapy and Dr Tarallo from the team of professionals in Catani , who operated me.”
Looking forward to the fifth round in Le Mans
Petrucci is also grateful to his fans for their overwhelming support. He now looks forward to the French round of the MotoGP season saying, “I can’t wait to be at Le Mans and I hope I can soon give to all of them so much satisfaction.”
The Octo Pramac Yaknich Ducati team are also extremely grateful to Michele Pirro who they feel has worked hard with “great dedication and professionalism”.