Battaini replaces injured Abraham at Cardion Ducati team
|By Michele Lostia and Sam Tremayne||Thursday, July 5th 2012, 09:27 GMT|
Ducati's official test rider Franco Battaini expects it will take time to re-acclimatise to a full MotoGP weekend after stepping in to replace the injured Karel Abraham at the Cardion Ducati squad.
The German Grand Prix will represent Battaini's first race in the category since the 2005 finale at Valencia, although he went on to race in several other series including World Superbikes.
"As far as physical training is concerned, there should be no problem, but I don't know how I will do compared to others because I haven't raced for a while," Battaini told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Returning at nearly 40 years of age is not easy. I need to get accustomed to the track and understand how to stay in the pack. But I've decided to take it as it comes."
Battaini's ride comes after Abraham was forced to withdraw from the Dutch TT due to the injuries - a fractured left hand and deep cuts – he suffered during in-season testing at Catalunya.
Ducati team boss Vittoriano Guareschi, who informed Battaini he would be riding this weekend, says he should see the weekend as a fun opportunity.
"Since Monday, when I told him, he has been agitated. But I explained to him he must consider this chance as fun: at 40 he isn't certainly starting a new career," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"What can he do? I think he could stay ahead of the CRTs, even though this track is less disadvantageous for those bikes."