A crash after losing the front of his BMW Tyco and the subsequent impact with a solid wall at Brands Hatch put an end to Davide Giugliano's 2017 adventure in the British Superbikes, after having arrived there as one of the most highly anticipated 'rookies'.
A banal crash that could have had more serious consequences: “you reach that change of direction while moving downhill and at high speed and I, after crash, went straight into the wall - explains Davide- it was my first 'English' crash but it was painful: my knee was badly bashed up, as was my head, and I had to say stop. Initially I was not doing so well but now I'm resting up and training again to get back to full fitness”.
So it was that crash that ruled you out of the rest of the British season?
“I was honest with the team - I told them that I would need time to heal and recover before getting back on the bike. I didn't want them to be without a rider for an unknown period of time. I was getting on well with the BMW Tyco team and, out of mutual respect, we decided to stop”.
In the meantime, Davide has kept an eye on the world championship and wants to remember Hayden in this way: “Nicky was spontaneous, really down to earth. I carry his memory with me and want to remember last year's race in Malaysia... it was an important one for both me and him, because we'd both been having a tough time. The track was totally wet, I was catching up to him and I noted his strength as a rider. He won and I came second, and I understand just what enormous experience he had. I hope that the strength he had as a person can be of use to the family, who needs it so much now”.
Life and racing must go on and Davide speaks out with regard to recent rumours “I haven't been contacted by the Red Bull Ten Kate team, I've had no offers of any kind to finish the season with them on the Fireblade”.
What's next year's goal now?
“I'm young, 27, I didn't want this break but, seeing as I have this time, I'm thinking about my body, my physical health. From when the suffering started, in 2015, up until Brands Hatch, I'd probably never given myself the necessary time to heal completely while now I can do just that”.
Has your former bike, the Panigale twin, reached the end of the line? The Kawasaki seems unbeatable…
“I know the potential of the Ducati team, it's significant; the Panigale project was a very difficult one at the start, then Davies and I brought the first positive results. As far as I'm concerned, I was limited by injury, in both 2015 and last year. Davies is very strong, sometimes like Rea but, for a number of reasons, Chaz often finds himself on the limit. I don't know if the Kawasaki is superior to the Ducati but, from outside, it seems that the green team has a better overall package. The two Ninja ZX10RRs are perfect and it seems that it's all comes more easily to them”.
The show is somewhat lacking, do they need a technical regulation more in line with that of the Superstock?
“I'm a rider, it's not up to me to say what the SBK regulation should be. But I've been in this world for years and so I ask - when have the Superbikes ever been close to being production bikes? from Edwards' Honda in 2002, to the Ducati 999, to the Yamahas of Haga and Corser, these were not standard bikes, they never were. The problem is not the regulation".
So what is the “problem”?
“Jonathan Rea, he is the problem (he smiles). Johnny was already strong with the Honda CBR, let alone with the Kawasaki Ninja, a bike that fits him perfectly. Davies and Sykes are equally fast but Rea makes the difference; when he makes a mistake he finishes second, and he doesn't often make mistakes. He's the fastest in the second part of the race and he's the most consistent over the whole season, he's tough and it's his riding style that brings the results. Rea is the championship killer”.
You're getting back in shape, when will you be back on the bike?
“I don't know to be honest. My aim, though, is to race - this is my job and my life. I think I have a long career ahead of me and think I still have a lot to give. Superbike is my home, I want to get back there and think I can still contribute to the championship. I want to improve and I want to demonstrate this and then, after several podiums, I'm just missing the win”.