Gibernau Returns to MotoGP Racing
Gibernau happy to go the distance on MotoGP return.
In his first race for more than two and a half years Sete Gibernau battled against the pain in Qatar to bring his Ducati satellite machine home in 13th place despite his shoulder injury.
Having been unsure whether he would even be able to complete the full 22 laps of Monday’s re-scheduled MotoGP race, at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, Sete Gibernau was delighted afterwards to have achieved a point-scoring result on his return to premier class competition.
The 36 year-old former World Championship runner-up suffered a setback earlier this year when he aggravated an old injury in his left shoulder in a private training session as he prepared for his MotoGP comeback, meaning that he missed the Qatar night test at the beginning of March and he was riding in some pain at round one.
Having qualified in 15th place on the grid the rider from Barcelona got away solidly at the start and maintained a decent pace to eventually bring his new satellite Ducati bike across the finishing line in 13th position. It was Gibernau’s first race since the Portuguese GP of 2006, at which he crashed out and injured his shoulder, causing him to announce his retirement from the sport.
Riding for the newly formed Grupo Francisco Hernando team in his 2009 return, Gibernau said of his Qatar experience, "It was a hard race for us. We didn’t know if we could go the whole distance so I want to thank the team, as they did a great job and they really helped me a lot. I’m satisfied because beforehand I didn’t think I would be able to finish the race and we even got some points so I couldn’t ask for more!"
He continued, "I can’t say I was really comfortable on the bike as I was really struggling with the pain but I’m really happy to have got a result that was much better than expected. Now, before the next race in Japan, I want to be at home and train a little bit, perhaps on one of my bikes, so that my physical condition improves further."
On racing with the Desmosedici GP9 for the first time and his pre-race nerves Gibernau also stated, "There is no point assessing the performance of the Ducati yet because I just wasn’t in the right shape to push at 100%. Obviously I was a bit tense before the start of the race but once we got started I took things calmly because I just wanted to make sure I finished."