Rossi rides through the pain
The Doctor leaves hospital and is patient in his pursuit of points
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