First pics: Rossi looking good on R1 at Misano test
MCN's Michael Neeves has managed to talk his way into a heavily-secured Misano circuit this afternoon where Rossi is due to take the track for the first time since his shin-breaking Mugello crash.
According to Neeves - on a manufacturer visit to Bimota, Vyrus and Benelli - the entire Misano area is abuzz with talk of Rossi's return to action at the circuit. We'll bring you updates as they come.
UPDATE: @ 19:58
The first pics of Rossi riding what we believe is Cal Crutchlow's WSB Yamaha R1 have arrived. The nine-times world champ isn't visibly impeded by his recent shin injury, and completed two sessions of 10 and 14 laps.
But insiders say it's not his right leg that is the long-term worry but the shoulder he damaged in a motocross incident.
UPDATE @ 4:59PM
Rossi has arrived at the track and will be riding shortly. Dainese have supplied leathers with extra protection in the right shin area, seen leaving their factory by MCN editor Marc Potter earlier today. Rossi also has an enlarged right boot to accommodate his still-swollen right foot.
UPDATE @ 4:01PM
Rossi’s dad Graziano has just turned up at the circuit in his scruffy white Peugeot panel van.
UPDATE @ 3:45PM
Pirellis out, Bridgestones in: still no sign of Rossi but the bike's been fired up and it's ready to go.
UPDATE @ 2.39PM
An all-black carbon-clad R1 has been wheeled out for Rossi to ride. Bridgestone tyres are racked up everywhere, suggesting this must be a WSB-spec bike running 16.5in rims, also explaining the presence of the WSB crew. The garage has been fully adorned with VR46 livery and carpet making it look like a GP pit-lane in miniature.
UPDATE @ 2.25PM
A car track day is taking place, but activity surrounds a garage at the far end of pit lane.
Neeves says: "There's a bunch of Sterilgarda WSB mechanics hanging around and getting stuff like tyre warmers ready. A silver Mercedes Sprinter van has pulled in and is unloading something, but it's surrounded by security guys and back up right against the garage entrance so it's impossible to see if it's a road bike or a WSB machine."