I’m Davide Versolatti, physiotherapist at the Chiros Medical Centre in Turin… And as of today, also with the Aprilia Racing team for the Moto GP world championship. I still cannot believe it! I still cannot believe it!
It all started one Sunday afternoon, when my coordinator and colleague Fabio Careddu (you’ve already met him, he was at Portimao, Portugal, for the first race of the season!) suggested I join the Lifenet professional team that follows the official Aprilia team in its races. The decision was made in less than 15 minutes, just enough time to talk to my partner: ‘Absolutely yes! When do we leave?”.
Stage 4: Adrenalin builds for the Spanish Grand Prix
I arrived at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain with Dr Franco Perona, Chief Medical Officer of Lifenet Healthcare. Thanks to him, I was able to get to know all the team members, enter the paddock and the pits, just in time to see the bike up close before it hit the track for free practice.
Our work started immediately, with the setting up of the treatment area inside the Aprilia Hospitality, located right next to the first curve. Our riders are going strong, very strong: and free practice bodes well for qualifying the next day.
Aleix Espargaro crashes at the end of FP3
It all happened in a split second: Aleix Espargaro, our rider, crashed on turn 11, right at the end of free practice, when he was setting one of the best times of the day. This is our moment to act. In just a few minutes, the whole Lifenet team went into action to manage a critical situation, where a quick intervention is required within a complex context, ensuring we do not hinder the relentless work of mechanics and engineers. All is perfectly orchestrated: and Aleix is back in the saddle, this time on the second bike, to lower his record again.
Qualifying time: Aleix takes Pole
Saturday, 29 April, is qualifying day. Espargaro and Maverick Vinales confirm a good race pace, but the weather is unpredictable: it is hot, but every now and then a downpour wets the track and makes everything uncertain, especially in the pits: maybe it’s time to mount the wet tyres. The engineers are still discussing it when Aleix crosses the finish line: it’s Pole Positions!
Unlucky Sprint and Grand Prix for Aprilia
The premises to do well were there, but in the race, anything can happen, especially if the weather doesn’t give a break. On Saturday afternoon, during the Sprint Race, Aleix crashed and Vinales, who was the fastest on the track, started too far back to grab the podium. It goes a little better on Sunday, with Aleix finishing fifth after a difficult race. A shame, but the team knows where to focus their work ahead of the next GP. It’s off to France, time for Le Mans.
In the meantime, I take stock of this incredible weekend: I really hope that this collaboration between myself, the Aprilia team and Lifenet continues over the years. It’s also an exciting adventure for us in the Medical Team: I look forward to continuing to develop my skills so that I can help Aprilia reach their full potential.