Go Eleven Ducati’s Eugene Laverty made a brave attempt to come back to WorldSBK one weekend earlier than he really planned after suffering multiple injuries in his wrist, but his attempt proved to be impossible at Donington.
He simply does not have the movement in his throttle hand yet. “It was really difficult as I had a standard throttle this morning and that was tough because I was having to turn it with my hand and then finish it with my thumb, and that was dangerous,” Laverty told bikesportnews.com.
“And because I was having to grab the gas from here (right at the bottom of movement) and try to open it full, when I tried to close the gas it would not close, because I needed to close it more.
I was able to do five laps this morning just riding around. We went with a shorter throttle (movement) in the afternoon and that was much better on the corner exit because it meant I pushed but when I pushed that was the difference between being able to do five laps this morning and two in the afternoon, before my wrist gave up.
“It is the mobility; I still can’t pronate and extend. That is the only two movements motorbike racer needs.”
With several heavy braking section, trying to be back in time for Donington was going to be a difficult one for Laverty, as he had originally targeted Laguna next weekend.
“I knew the nature of the track was going to be tough,” said Laverty. “My plan was to come back for Laguna but to come back after nine weeks and try to be competitive was going to be tough, so I had to try here, and race if I could. It was always 50/50 for here.”
Laverty is also old school in his approach to racing in some regards. “I told everybody I would stay at home until I was ready but when you are a rider, you think ‘When am I ready?’ I don’t know.
“At the start of this week I opened my first bottle of water. Maybe that means I am ready? I needed to try it. Imagine if I was here, but somebody else was riding my bike, and I was in the garage trying it and then thinking ‘maybe I could have ridden?’ that is the worst feeling.
I am not one of these Spanish pussies that makes up fairytale injuries and stays by the side. If I can ride I want to ride. I needed to give it a go.”
Donington itself was a particularly touch challenge given that Laverty had broken his right wrist, not his left. But Laguna is all left handers…
“I think I can ride at Laguna because it is anti-clockwise,’ said Laverty. “It is still going to be tough but I can ride with one arm there. The problem here is that I am braking into the corners with my right arm and then as you lean the left arm does nothing.
“But here I have been ‘braking; with my left arm but as soon as you lean in you have to use the right arm and with so much force through it, it was tough. Donington is the hardest track on your right arm. This is where everybody complains of arm-pump. All the one finger brakers, like Chaz, and Tom and Jonathan, all use two here and that says a lot about the track.
“Laguna is the hardest track for the left arm. That is why it made sense to come back there. It is always difficult to put a number on where I will be but I think I can ride there.”