Andrea Dovizioso didn't test his new Ducati GP13 last week at Jerez due to a nagging neck problem. But he may have found ideal therapy last weekend - racing a supermoto bike.
Dovizioso teamed with Supermoto standout Mauro Hermunen to win a supermoto event Sunday at the new Latina circuit in Italy. The 58-lap race that raised funds for the Marco Simoncelli Foundation - the lap total was a tribute to Super Sic's number - featured guest rides by Dovizioso and other present and past Italian MotoGP stars, including Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi.
The Doctor finished third, while former archrival Biaggi finished eighth. It was the first time the bitter foes have competed on the same track since the MotoGP season finale in 2005 at Valencia.
Even though this was a charity event, there were two happenings that raised European media interest besides the all-star lineup and race results. One, apparently Rossi and Biaggi have reached some sort of virtual dĒtente, as Rossi started following Biaggi's Twitter feed over the weekend.
Of more importance, some European media questioned how Dovizioso could compete just a few days he was unable to fulfill his last chance to ride the GP13 until February due to the neck problems. Dovi parried by insisting physical therapy and medication last week at Jerez helped his neck to improve and that the upright riding style and lower speeds of a supermoto bike put nowhere near the stress on his neck as a Grand Prix prototype.
Eddie Lawson suffered with a nagging neck injury dating back to his 1982 Laguna Seca crash where the future four time world champion suffered momentary paralysis and later missed several races while wearing a neck trellis. That said, Lawson's neck really started to give him problems after he began his Indy Car career.