Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

Valentino Rossi has had a ma­jor set­back ahead of the most cru­cial pe­riod of the 2017 Mo­togp sea­son and ahead of his home race this week­end at Mugello af­ter suf­fer­ing in­juries in a mo­tocross crash.

Rossi crashed while train­ing on a mo­tocross bike at the Crosso­dromo Caval­lara, a cir­cuit lo­cated some 30 miles from his home in Tavul­lia last Thurs­day, suf­fer­ing ab­dom­i­nal and chest in­juries. He was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal in Ri­mini be­fore be­ing dis­charged the fol­low­ing day.

His team have yet to ex­plain ex­actly what in­juries the Ital­ian has suf­fered, but say that no bones were bro­ken in the crash.

The in­ci­dent comes at a cru­cial part of the 2017 sea­son, with four races in the next five weeks thanks to back-to-back rounds in Mugello, Barcelona, Assen and Sach­sen­ring. Adding in­sult to in­jury is Rossi’s per­for­mance last time out in Le Mans, where he fi­nally showed the pace to run with Mav­er­ick Viñales at the front of the field for the first time this sea­son be­fore crash­ing out on the fi­nal lap.

The nine-time world cham­pion is not a reg­u­lar on a mo­tocross bike, since a shoul­der in­jury in early 2010 left his en­tire sea­son in dis­ar­ray.

Crash­ing early in the year and dam­ag­ing ten­dons and lig­a­ments, Rossi nearly with­drew from the cham­pi­onship race early to un­dergo surgery af­ter be­ing left in near-con­stant pain. He even­tu­ally had it op­er­ated on in Novem­ber of the same year, days af­ter mak­ing his Du­cati de­but at Va­len­cia.

Since then Valentino has largely fol­lowed in the foot­steps of his Amer­i­can heroes and switched his train­ing to flat track rid­ing, most fa­mously at the VR46 Moto Ranch that he built out­side his home town of Tavul­lia and that he reg­u­larly uses for train­ing with his VR46 Academy rid­ers.

Rossi’s job has just got a whole lot harder

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