Rossi borrowed a Sterilgarda Yamaha World Superbike twice last week to gauge whether he was physically and mentally prepared to race once again. Rossi announced today that he intends to ride in this weekend’s GP race in Germany if the Chief Medical Officer clears him.
The Doctor is back. Defending MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi announced his intentions to race in this weekend’s race in Germany at the Sachsenring circuit after a six-week absence. The only hurdle between Rossi returning to race action is clearance by the Chief Medical Officer at Sachsenring on Thursday.
“I’m really excited that my doctors think I can ride this weekend. Tomorrow I will see the medical officer and then we will have the final decision. I felt good on the R1 but I know my M1 at the track is a different thing and it will be hard for me, but I miss my bike and my team and I want to try. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone and being back in the paddock; I was tired of being at home! Wataru will be there as well so if there is a problem he will ride my bike again,” Rossi said in a Fiat Yamaha press release.
Rossi has ridden in two private test sessions in the last week at Misano and Brno on a YZF-R1 provided by the Yamaha World Superbike Team. Despite limping out to the bike on crutches and admittedly out of riding shape after a six-week hiatus, Rossi was still able to log 46 laps at Brno and posted times that were only a second off of the winning World Superbike Superpole time set by Cal Crutchlow.
He may still be hobbling around on crutches, but Rossi has shown the heart of a champion by testing twice in the last week and by expressing his desire to race at Sachsenring only six weeks after breaking his leg.
The Italian rider missed four consecutive races for the first time in his illustrious career after breaking his right tibia in a vicious crash during a practice session at Mugello. Rossi’s recovery time initially was projected at four to six months, but the combination of an intensive physical therapy regiment administered by a skilled medical team and a champion with the heart of a lion has accelerated his comeback. Yamaha test rider Wataru Yoshikawa, who substituted for Rossi in the last round at Catalunya, will be on hand just in case the Chief Medical Officer rules against Rossi’s return.
“Valentino has made big effort to be ready to race in Sachsenring this weekend. He really wanted to be back riding his M1 as soon as he could and so he’s worked hard to make his recovery as quick as possible. We expect him to take a couple of races to be up to speed and competitive at the top after his injury, but it’s very nice to see him back with us,” said team manager Davide Brivio.
Since Rossi’s absence, his Fiat Yamaha teammate has asserted himself as the number one rider in the world with three consecutive victories and five overall wins in seven races. Lorenzo has amassed a 52-point lead in the championship point standings without Rossi around to keep the pressure on him. But he has never won at Sachsenring, though he came ever-so-close last year before Rossi nipped him at the line by a scant .099-second.