Rossi rides through the pain

The Doc­tor leaves hos­pi­tal and is pa­tient in his pur­suit of points

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - MO­TOGP RE­PORTER IN MUGELLO si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­

Valentino Rossi took an in­cred­i­ble fourth place at his home Ital­ian Grand Prix at Mugello on Sun­day, just days af­ter be­ing dis­charged from hos­pi­tal af­ter suf­fer­ing ma­jor chest and stom­ach in­juries in a mo­tocross crash last week.

The Ital­ian crashed while train­ing near his home in Italy, suf­fer­ing dam­age se­vere enough to war­rant a night’s stay in hos­pi­tal with breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties. But he was able to take the pain and nearly took third, un­til good friend Danilo Petrucci snuck in front in the fi­nal stages of the race.

Still re­cov­er­ing and in a lot of pain in the days lead­ing up to his all-im­por­tant home race at Mugello, he ad­mit­ted to MCN that the re­sult was a case of dam­age control as he fought with his still-re­cov­er­ing body at the phys­i­cally de­mand­ing cir­cuit.

“For sure it’s a great shame I didn’t make the podium be­cause it’s al­ways the tar­get, but even more im­por­tant at Mugello in front of all the crowd. I trusted that I could do it be­cause I was fast in prac­tice, but in­side I knew that 23 laps were al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult and that I would suf­fer more than nor­mal.

“When you do eight or nine laps in the race it’s one story and you re­cover, but 23 in a row is a lot

more dif­fi­cult, and with eight laps to go I was al­ready fin­ished. I suf­fered more and more, and when you ride a bike like this and you’re not at 100% ev­ery­thing be­comes more dif­fi­cult. I tried not to give up, but I wasn’t strong enough to at­tack.”

How­ever, to come home ahead of ti­tle ri­val Marc Mar­quez and only two places be­hind cham­pi­onship leader Mav­er­ick Viñales, Rossi con­ceded that the sit­u­a­tion could have been much worse given he didn’t know if he would even be able to start the race.

And al­though the next race is this week­end, Rossi reck­ons he’ll be ready. “It would be bet­ter if I had an ex­tra week, but we’ve got two in a row so it’s the way it is. If I con­tinue to re­cover the way that I’ve re­cov­ered up un­til now then it should be okay.

“It’s im­pos­si­ble to say if the changes to the track will help us. But I’m a bit wor­ried be­cause Barcelona has very low grip lev­els, and we suf­fered with the same con­di­tions at Jerez this year. But I love Barcelona, and I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing what hap­pens.”

‘When you ride a bike like this and you are not 100% it’s very dif­fi­cult’ VALENTINO ROSSI

Vi­nales and Rossi scored good points

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