A superheroic performance from Valentino Rossi had handed him pole position for tomorrow’s Aragon Grand Prix at the Motorland Aragon circuit, only 23 days after breaking his right leg and undergoing surgery to have a nail installed in his tibia to stabilise the fracture.
Yet despite being able to dig deep and pull off a stunning performance in qualifying today, the Italian was quick to instead thank the team around him for helping to return him to premier class action in only three weeks.
“I think we did a great job after sustaining the injury. I have to thank all the people that helped me, starting with the doctor that did the surgery. After that I worked very hard every day with my trainer and the leg is becoming better every day. Sincerely, on the bike I feel some pain, but I can ride quite comfortably, so I‘m very happy. It‘s very important to start from the front row and now we have to understand the pace and also if I‘m able to push until the end, but anyway I‘m happy.”
However, while admitting that the result was incredible after the session, team boss Massimo Meregalli also conceded that there’s still work to do in warm-up for Rossi and teammate Maverick Viñales before the race.
“The whole team also applauds Valentino for his incredible performance. We know from experience that he can make the impossible possible, and he proved it again today. Not only did he advance straight to Q2, while still recovering, but he also secured a brilliant third place after briefly holding the P1 spot.
“All-in-all it‘s been a very rewarding day for the team. We hope to keep this momentum going for tomorrow in the warm up as we prepare for the race. We still have some information missing, mainly on the tyre specification and durability. The warm up will be fundamental to get a better understanding before we make decisions for the race.”