Jerez MotoGP: Valentino Rossi admits shoulder fear

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Reigning MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has expressed concerns that his damaged right shoulder will be a severe handicap during this weekend’s Spanish GP at Jerez.

The Italian stretched ligaments in his right shoulder when he crashed while training on a Yamaha motocross bike two weeks ago. He also revealed he’d cracked a small bone in the shoulder, but that was already cleared up.

The 31-year-old was arguably the most relieved man in the paddock when the recent Japanese MotoGP clash at the Twin Ring Motegi was postponed because of travel disruption caused by an Icelandic volcano.

The Fiat Yamaha rider, who won the first race of the season in Qatar earlier this month, said: “Unfortunately I’m not fully fit. I still have some pain and for me it was very lucky that Motegi was postponed because last week would have been much more difficult than now.

“I have one extra week to work on my shoulder and I improve a lot, but I still have some pain. I need to wait until tomorrow to understand what it is like when I’m on the bike.

“For some movement I have no problem but for some other movement I have a lot of pain. I can ride a TMAX in Italy but a MotoGP bike is a different story and maybe a bit more stress.

“The shoulder didn’t dislocate but it tried to come out. I was lucky it didn’t come out and the muscles resist. But all the ligaments were stretched. I have a small crack in a bone but it is already fixed but the problem is the muscle.

“Usually this type of injury needs three weeks but now it is only two weeks since the accident. I need another seven days to return to 100 per cent.”

Rossi, who was still revelling in his beloved Inter Milan’s victory over Barcelona last night to reach the Champions League final later this month, explained his crash to MCN: “I was on a motocross track in Forli and in a left corner I entered into a rut a little bit too fast and I crashed with my right arm out.

“The shoulder rotated upwards and fortunately it didn’t dislocate but I’ve stretched all the ligaments. I was very lucky because in Motegi it would have been difficult.

“One extra week to recover is really important and it would have been a big problem to ride in Motegi. It was possible to race but difficult.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt