Chaz Davies: Welshman recovering after horror crash with Jonathan Rea

The crash
The horrible moment Chaz Davies has a bike run over his back

Chaz Davies is "feeling better every day" as he recovers from a huge crash during last week's opening World Superbike race in Misano, Italy.

The Welshman, who rides for Ducati, suffered a spinal injury, fractured his left thumb and was also diagnosed with a closed thoracic trauma.

Davies is having an intense course of physiotherapy and is still feeling the effects of the crash.

"I couldn't breathe when it happened," the 30-year-old told BBC Wales Sport.

"I am flat out with the physio and doing a couple of sessions a day and basically doing everything I can.

"I am still feeling a bit sore through the back and ribs, but I am definitely seeing some progress quite early, so I am pretty happy."

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Chaz Davies relives his horror crash

'I knew I had been run over'

Davies, from Presteigne, was leading Saturday's race when the incident happened.

Northern Irish rider Jonathan Rea was right behind him as the pair fought for victory, and Rea was unable to avoid Davies, who lost the front of his bike.

Rea had nowhere to go but right over the top of the Knighton-born rider.

Davies got up from the crash, but was then put on a stretcher and sent to hospital in Rimini.

"I came off the side of the bike and Jonny just had nowhere to go," he said.

"The first thing I felt was him coming over me and I knew I had been run over.

"I assumed it was Jonny but until I saw him on the deck I wasn't sure. I couldn't breathe straight away and it really, really knocked the wind out of my sails.

"I always try and get back on the bike if I can. So I ran over to it thinking, my breath is going to come back, it has got to come back in a minute.

"I tried to pick up the bike but I had literally nothing. Normally I can pick the bike up fairly easily off the ground, but I had no power and I still hadn't managed to draw breath.

"I needed to get off the track and I went over to the gravel trap and basically tried to clamber on to the stretcher as quickly as possible because I was starting to feel what had gone on.

"I could feel a lot of pain through my mid-section and I was struggling for breath. At that point it was race over and I needed to be checked out."

Chaz in hospital
Chaz Davies' team check on him in hospital

'It could have been a lot worse'

Crashing is commonplace in motorbike racing, and Davies knows the outcome in Misano could have been so much worse, especially as his injuries were so close to the spinal cord.

"I have injured the L3, which is the lumber part of the spine, so the lower bit and the traverse process is kind of like a wing that comes off the vertebrae," he said.

"It's the better part to break of the vertebrae, even though it is a complete break and it is fully separated it is much better than actually breaking the vertebrae itself, because that is when it gets dangerous with the spinal cord.

"This is still not ideal, it would be better if it didn't happen but backs are dangerous things and I feel quite lucky to be walking away with just that really."

Chaz Davies
Chaz Davies is attended to by a Marshall after his crash

Road to recovery

Davies won the World Supersport title in 2011, and for the past five years he has been fighting for the World Superbike championship crown.

His best finish so far was second in 2015, and this season Davies is third in the overall standings.

The 2011 BBC Wales Sports Personality of the year winner is now aiming to be back on track for the next round of the series at Laguna on 7 July.

"All being well with a couple of weeks of good physio I should be back on the bike racing at Laguna," he said.

"It is just about the physio now. I have been doing two sessions a day and definitely hitting it hard and making sure I am doing everything to get back on the bike.

"I feel like I have got off lightly generally."

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