Petrucci opts for no protection on injured hand

Pramac Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci has revealed that he will have no protection on his injured right hand while racing in the MotoGP season opener in Qatar on Sunday. 

Petrucci fractured the second, third and fourth metacarpals in his hand when he crashed during the final day of testing at Phillip Island last month.

The Italian underwent surgery in Melbourne and was forced to miss the final pre-season test in Qatar.  Despite wearing a protective cast during the first free practice on Thursday, he quickly discarded it and has subsequently decided not to wear any protection.

“At the beginning, I started with the plastic cast, but the situation was not so great,” he told reporters. “I had not so much feeling on my hand, so after two laps I came back to the pits and changed the cast.

“Now I ride without nothing. The situation for sure is more risky. In some parts of the circuit it is not possible to open the throttle fully, even the brake is very difficult in some parts because I am very slow to move the hand, and especially I made a lot of effort for riding.”

The 25-year-old recorded the 15th-fastest time during the first free practice, but he was more pleased that he managed to get through 17 laps.

“I am very tired and I feel a lot of pain, but I’m really happy,” he said. “Now I feel more relaxed. Now I am free of a big pressure and I am happy that, at the moment, I can ride the bike.

“It is even more difficult [this weekend] because I had no testing here.”