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Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) unfortunately won't be lining up to start his home race at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli after a crash in training, but motogp.com got an exclusive chance to talk to the nine-time World Champion ahead of the event to ask what everyone wants to know - namely how did it happen, and when will he be back?
First, how did the crash happen?
Valentino Rossi: "Unfortunately I was riding a dirt bike with my friends to tour the hills behind Urbino in the countryside – it is something that I have done from when I was 18 with my father, so a long time. Unfortunately, very close to the end, in a downhill section that was very low speed, I hit a rock and lost the steering. To stop myself from crashing, I put my foot on the ground, but it was deep and with all the weight of the bike on my leg, it broke."
So, after being operated on successfully and getting back home, how is the Italian - mentally and physically?
VR46: "The leg is painful, but in general I feel good. The mental condition is worse because it was a great shame throwing away the chance for the Championship, and to race at Misano in front of all the crowd. I have to say sorry to all my team as I cannot race, but it is like this, and I will come back as soon as possible.”
There has been a lot of talk regarding how to train, whether it’s in motocross or enduro or similar. How do you respond to that and what difference does that training make?
VR46: "As always, we speak a lot about this. We are motorcycle riders and the best way to train is to ride a motorcycle. But unfortunately, when you ride a bike it can be dangerous. We cannot always train with a motorcycle, but it’s very important. Unfortunately, injury has happened to me twice now this year, once before in Mugello – so we need to train another way.”
Now, the question on everyone's lips: when will the number 46 be back on the grid?
VR46: "I learned from last time, that in this part of rehabilitation you have to take it day-by-day. It depends on the pain – we are already trying to work to come back as soon as possible. The next race after Misano is Aragon, but I think that will be very hard as it’s just 22 days after the injury. We need double this, or a minimum of 40 days. Last time I came back after 40 days, but this time the fracture is less painful – but it’s too early to say. If I am not able to in Aragon then I will try for Motegi.”
Finally, the 'Doctor' had a message for his fans - who have shown an incredible level of support following the incident:
VR46: “Ciao from Valentino! It’s a great shame to not race here in Misano, but I will work every day to come back as soon as possible, and thank you to everybody for the support.”