Davide Giugliano says after his 2015 World Superbike championship was broken up by two serious injuries he entered pre-season testing with an uncertain frame of mind.
The Italian rider missed the opening four rounds of the 2015 campaign after sustaining two fractured vertebrae at the final pre-season test at Phillip Island. After a triumphant comeback at Imola with a third-place finish in race one the 26-year-old's season lasted just five rounds as he suffered another broken vertebra in a nasty highside crash at Laguna Seca, ending his 2015 then and there.
After a steady but lengthy comeback trail Giugliano has completed three European pre-season tests with the Aruba.it Racing Ducati squad and at the team's official launch in Italy he opened up about his loss of confidence with the Panigale R.
“When you have a relationship that is so passionate there can be things that go wrong and we didn't understand each other last year but it has passed,” Giugliano said. “It has been a different winter as I've been through two very serious injuries.
“On one hand I knew I had a top bike and top team so I was relaxed but on the other hand I wasn't sure of myself as I had to start from scratch physically and mentally. I trained a lot, especially on bikes with motocross and others, and this allowed me to recover. I'm looking forward to Phillip Island already.”
Looking for a fresh start in 2016, Giugliano welcomes Aligi Deganello as his new chief engineer and Paolo Biasio who will be in charge of the electronics on his 1199 Panigale R.
Deganello is a former crew chief for Marco Simoncelli before helping Sylvain Guintoli to the 2014 World Superbike title with Aprilia, while Biasio also transfers over from Aprilia.
“We are starting with many changes and some beautiful things,” he said. “The team is new with Aligi Deganello and Paolo Biasio coming to my team and I would like to thank Ducati for this opportunity. We have carried out three tests which have been very positive in my opinion and I've been very calm. We managed step-by-step to be fast and I'm very happy about it.”
Giugliano and team-mate Chaz Davies will now head to Phillip Island for the final pre-season test before the same venue hosts the season opener on the 26-28 February.