Valentino Rossi will attempt to take part in this weekend’s Aragon Grand Prix, only three weeks after breaking his right tibia and fibula in an Enduro training accident.
The Italian made a surprise decision to conduct a short test aboard his Yamaha R1 on Monday afternoon and despite only completing six laps due to poor weather, Rossi was back out on track again Tuesday, notching up an impressive 20 laps with “improved feeling”.
The Yamaha rider then underwent a medical examination today and confirmed that he will travel to the Spanish Circuit and try ride in free practice one. However, the “Doctor” must pass another medical on Thursday to be allowed on the track Friday morning.
“Fortunately, yesterday I had a good test with my YZF-R1M in Misano. I tried also the day before, but the rain stopped me after a few laps,” explains Rossi. “Yesterday I managed to complete 20 laps and find the answers I was looking for.
“Eventually, the test was positive and I want to say thanks to Dr. Lucidi and his staff, who helped me find the best solutions to feel the least amount of pain possible in my leg when I‘m riding.
“Obviously at the end of the test I was in a little bit of pain, but this morning I went to Dr. Pascarella for a medical check, and it came out with a positive result.
“At the end, I decided I will leave for Aragón and will try to ride my M1 this weekend. If I will be declared fit to ride, I’ll have the real answer after FP1, because riding the M1 will be a much bigger challenge. We’ll see. See you in Aragon!”
Should Rossi be unable to compete this weekend, Dutch World Superbike star Michael Van Der Mark would fill in for the nine-time world champion and make his MotoGP debut.
“It remains to be seen if Valentino feels he can complete the entire race weekend, which is very demanding, especially at a circuit like MotorLand Aragón, with big elevation changes,” confides team director Massimo Meregalli.
“Should Vale feel that his injury is causing him too much discomfort, then Michael van der Mark will step in as the replacement rider.
“If that is the case, the team will put in maximal effort to help him adapt to the YZR-M1 as quick as possible. He didn’t get the opportunity to test the bike before, so it would be a very exciting but also interesting weekend for him.”
Rossi trails joint championship leaders Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso by 42 points but with only 5 races to go and 125 points up for grabs, everything is to play for.