Valentino Rossi returns to action for the first time since his broken leg at Mugello, with The Doctor eyeing an early return at Sachsenring.
The seven-time premier class champion hit the Misano circuit in two sessions. The first run comprised of 11 laps, where the Italian’s best time was 1’41. Session 2 saw Rossi drop to an unofficial time of 1’38.2 during the 15-lap outing. By comparison, Rossi peeled off the fastest lap time during last year’s race at the San Marino circuit at 1’34.746. At the recent SBK round at Misano, Sterilgarda Yamaha riders Cal Crutchlow and James Toseland posted their best laps during the doubleheader at 1’36.546 and 1’37.216.
Not far off their pace, Rossi reported pain in his leg and shoulder. Having missed four Grand Prix races, Rossi is eager to return at Sachsenring, much sooner than the original return target at the Czech GP in Brno. The upcoming Sachsenring action will begin in 10 days time, with Rossi expected to decide on his return date within the week. If ‘The Doctor’ is unable to return for the German GP, he may be ready in time for the USGP at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway, which takes place the following weekend.
Said the 31-year-old in an official team press release: “We made this test in order to understand how we must work from here and to see more or less how I can ride the bike. The test was positive, because I can at least ride, but there is a lot more to a MotoGP race than to a test like this one. I had some pain in the ankle, the knee and the shoulder, but above all I lacked strength in the shoulder and a bit of movement in the ankle. I would really like to come back at Sachsenring, but it is still too early to say. We still have twelve days and we must wait and see how much we can improve my condition in the next few days. The Superbike today was good and great fun to ride! I really would like to ride at Sachsenring, but we must wait another week before making a decision.”
Valentino Rossi’s bum leg still works on the racetrack, with the Doctor only about second off the pace of the factory World
Superbike rider’s pace at during the recent races at Misano.