Racing legend Valentino Rossi is working towards a sensational comeback, just three weeks after breaking his tibia and fibula in a dirt bike accident.
The 38-year-old rode a Yamaha YZF-R1M at his local Misano circuit yesterday, with a few to proving his fitness ahead of this weekend’s MotoGP round at Aragon. Rossi was only able to complete a few laps before bad weather set in, making the test ‘inconclusive’ according to a Yamaha spokesperson.
Rossi missed the Misano race two weekends ago but still has a mathematical chance of winning a 10th world title, lying 42 points behind joint leaders Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez with five races remaining.
Initial reports suggested that Rossi would be sidelined for between 30-40 days and Yamaha last week announced that Dutch world superbike rider Michael van der Mark would take over the MotoGP ride in Aragon. However the team’s statement always stated that Rossi would be allowed to decide for himself if he wished to return earlier.
Reports from Italy suggest that Rossi is on standby to do more laps of Misano today (Tuesday) should the weather improve and Yamaha have stated that a final decision will be made tomorrow. That statement, issued late last night, stated:
“Following an enduro accident on August 31st, Valentino Rossi has been diligently working on his recovery from the double fracture in his right leg. Today the nine-time world champion put his fitness level to the test and successfully completed a few laps around the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on a YZF-R1M, before rain disrupted the trial run.
“As today’s riding session was cut short due to the change in weather, the evaluation of Rossi’s physical condition was inconclusive. He will decide by the end of Wednesday, September 20th, whether he will attempt to take part in this weekend’s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón.”
Should Rossi decide to race, and receive medical clearance, Van der Mark will remain on standby for his MotoGP debut. Yamaha are contractually obliged to enter two riders for their factory team and should Rossi unsuccessfully attempt to ride, the Dutchman can take over from Rossi any time prior to qualifying on Saturday afternoon.