Sete Gibernau insists he never thought about quitting after breaking his collarbone just four rounds into his MotoGP comeback.
The double MotoGP World Championship runner-up has made a return to grand prix racing with the newly-formed Grupo Francisco Hernando Ducati team in 2009, after two seasons in retirement and at the age of 36.
But the shoulder injuries which contributed to Gibernau originally retiring have returned with him; the Spaniard missed a pre-season test due to ligament damage, whilst the Le Mans practice accident saw the #59 sidelined for two races whilst his newly re-plated collarbone healed.
Despite such challenges, and a best finish of eleventh in the three races he has started this year, Gibernau insists it never crossed his mind to reconsider his comeback.
“My only thought after the accident was to go back home, get my surgery done and come back racing,” said Sete in Catalunya on Thursday. “I will never think [about stopping] until the season is done. I will never start something without finishing it.
“After listening to what Dani [Pedrosa] and Toni [Elias] have been through recently I think I'm absolutely fine!” he joked. “I feel better with a plate inside. I've had a plate inside for eleven or twelve years and as soon as I took it out I had all the problems. I feel ok now and hopefully we can forget about this and concentrate on getting fit and riding the bike.
“I've not only been riding the bike but helping to build this team from zero,” he added. “It's been difficult but it's a good experience and I'm enjoying it. It takes a lot of time and energy to do all this but I'm happy to see the team working well. It's a great pleasure. Hopefully it'll be payback time for us soon. I'll keep pushing hard until we get the results we need.”
Gibernau joked that his age made up for the fact it was only a one-rider team.
“My age is almost like two riders, so that's ok!” he said.
Gibernau has finished on the podium four times at the Circuit de Catalunya, but never won in grand prix racing.
“It's nice to be back here, it's a very special place for me and I've had some great racing here," he said. "If I'm not mistaken I was the first motorcycle rider to win a race here many years ago, back in the early '90s. I have great memories and I hope we can have a great race.”