Alessandro Polita will make his belated return to the World Superbike Championship paddock after being drafted in as a replacement for the injured Karl Muggeridge at Celani Suzuki.
Muggeridge was diagnosed with two broken vertebrae, sustained unbeknown to him in a crash at Assen, following a further accident last time out at Miller Motorsports Park, but while the Australian was originally planning to participate at Misano, he has since decided to take time out to give his injuries proper time to heal.
Missing the Donington Park round of the series too, Muggeridge was disappointed to be on the sidelines but considered it necessary in order for him to get back to full strength.
“I've started training again yesterday and I'm really starting to feel human again. It's disappointing I'll miss Misano and Donington because the speed of the bike is just starting to come. But at least I will be able to re-enter at the Imola test which is a week before Brno, and at least I will ready.”
Muggeridge's place in the team will be assumed by former Superstock 1000 champion Polita, the Italian making a return to Celani having competed in a handful of events with them during the 2007 WSBK season.
Arriving at Celani having had his brief time on a Hoegee Suzuki concluded by the team's recent withdrawal from the World Supersport Championship, Polita was delighted to be given the chance to return to the premier class.
“Firstly, I would like to send a sincere message to Karl Muggeridge in his moment of suffering in the wake of his fall in America,” Polita, who was originally signed to compete for Sterilgarda Ducati in 2009, said. “I know what it feels like, and because of that I wish him a speedy recovery.
“For the rest, I'm very happy for this opportunity to bring some light back into a 2009 season that for me began in the worst possible way. For that I am grateful to Daniele Celani and all those who were in favour of this new collaboration; it is a chance to get myself back on the right path again with a bike of a very high technical potential. I will need to get back to grips with riding a Superbike, but I'm sure that thanks to the team's engineers, that difficulty can be in large part resolved.
“It is my home circuit, and for that reason I'll have even more determination to aim for a result that at least in part repays the efforts of everybody who have helped to get me this far. I thank them from the bottom of my heart, and I hope to be able to begin a new chapter in my career.”
Muggeridge is the latest rider to miss a round of the series through injuries sustained in Superbike related accidents. He joins Regis Laconi, Max Neukirchner, Makoto Tamada, John Hopkins, Brendan Roberts, Troy Corser, Tommy Hill, Broc Parkes and Shinya Nakano in skipping races.