Rossi’s Crash Opens So Many Questions
For several seasons those in MotoGP have been asking: what will the sport do without Valentino? From today, we’ll all find out – if only for the duration of a few races.
Valentino Rossi’s crash today could affect ticket sales for the Italian grand prix here at Mugello tomorrow. And the organisers at succeeding rounds – including the next one at the British grand prix at Silverstone on June 20 - must be wondering how many people might cancel plans to attend their races.
The events immediately after Silverstone are:
June 26 Holland
July 4 Catalunya
July 18 Germany
July 25 USA (Laguna Seca)
Minutes after Rossi’s crash other major questions about his future and that of MotoGP were circulating at Mugello:
• How long will The Doctor be away?
• Might he decide that this is the point to quit motorcycle racing permanently?
• Will Fiat Yamaha want to replace him with a substitute rider for the immediate races to come?
• Will Dorna – already offering to promoters a grid with only 17 riders, including Rossi – pressure Yamaha to appoint a substitute?
• If there is a substitute, either in the Fiat Yamaha or Tech 3 Yamaha teams, who might it be?
• Would Yamaha consider bringing back into MotoGP James Toseland, currently holding sixth place in the World Superbike championship on a Yamaha R1, but 125 points behind leader Max Biaggi?
• Or might Yamaha want to offer a MotoGP debut to Toseland’s younger team-mate Cal Crutchlow, who holds ninth place in the WSB series?
• Would either of the above riders even want to disrupt their WSB season?
A two-bike MotoGP team is allowed to run for three races without replacing a rider in the event of a disaster such as this. After that, they must revert to a two-rider format.
All of the above could be premature speculation. The Doctor might be back fairly soon – but the injury sounds painful and unpleasant, and comes on top of the shoulder damage from which he is already suffering. He could just decide that it’s time to quit while he is still the reigning world champion.