Fight­ing for a speedy re­turn

Bid for early re­turn hits buf­fers as re­place­ment rider is called in

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Front Page - By Si­mon Pat­ter­son MO­TOGP RE­PORTER @Mc­n­sport mo­tor­cy­cle­news

Valentino Rossi’s hopes of re­turn­ing to Mo­togp ac­tion just three weeks af­ter surgery to have his bro­ken leg pinned have been quashed, af­ter he con­ceded that he will be forced to miss the Aragon GP in ten days’ time.

The nine-time world champion broke his leg while train­ing on his en­duro bike and had hoped that a re­turn at the Span­ish race might be on the cards. But he was forced to ad­mit this week that the chances of an Aragon re­turn were be­yond slim.

Dutch­man Michael van der Mark is al­ready lined up to step in but Yamaha team boss Lin Jarvis says it is for Rossi to de­cide when he is fit to re­turn.

Speak­ing from the side­lines dur­ing the week­end’s Misano race, only 12 miles from his home, he said he was able to rely on ex­pe­ri­ence this time round to gauge his progress, af­ter suf­fer­ing a sim­i­lar in­jury in 2010.

He said: “In this phase of the re­cov­ery, you have to take it day-by­day. It de­pends very much on how the leg feels, how much pain there is. We’re al­ready work­ing hard and we’re try­ing to come back as soon as pos­si­ble. The next race af­ter Misano is Aragon, but I think it would have been very hard to be back in time for that be­cause it’s just 22 days af­ter the in­jury – and three weeks is not enough.

“We need closer to dou­ble that time. Last time I came back af­ter 40 days. But this time the frac­ture is bet­ter, much less painful, but it is very early to say. If I’m not ready for Aragon, I’ll be back in Motegi.

“The leg is painful but in gen­eral I feel good, but the men­tal pain is a lot worse! It was a great, great shame throw­ing away all the chances for the cham­pi­onship and the chance to race in front of all my home fans in Misano.”

That time­line may also have been af­fected by the week­end’s on-track ac­tion with strong fin­ishes from key ri­vals mean­ing Rossi now lies some 42 points adrift of the lead­ers.

The Ital­ian also re­vealed for the first time how the train­ing crash hap­pened. He is adamant that de­spite the sever­ity of the break, just be­low the knee of his right leg, that it wasn’t done while rid­ing hard or rac­ing, but sim­ply dur­ing a day out.

“I was with all my friends on an en­duro bike, mak­ing a tour around the hills be­hind Urbino in the coun­try­side. It’s a thing that I’ve done since I was 18 to­gether with my fa­ther for a long, long time. Very close to the end, in one down­hill sec­tion at very low speed, I lost the steer­ing, and I put my foot on the ground to avoid a crash. But it was a bit down­hill, and all the weight of the bike went on my leg and it broke.”

The fall marks the se­cond time this sea­son that a train­ing crash has af­fected Rossi’s prepa­ra­tion for rac­ing – he also suf­fered a mo­tocross crash be­fore Mugello. De­spite that, he was in­sis­tent that al­though they might need to mod­ify the ap­proach, there is no bet­ter way to pre­pare for Mo­togp than rid­ing mo­tor­bikes.

“We al­ways speak a lot about this, but for us we are mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ers and the best train­ing is to ride. Un­for­tu­nately, though, some­times when you are on a bike it is dan­ger­ous. We can­not train with­out them be­cause it is very im­por­tant, but it’s hap­pened to me twice this year now so we need to find another way.”

The bike is ready and the fans want their hero back

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.