German MotoGP: Valentino Rossi plans to race at Sachsenring

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Valentino Rossi will make a return to MotoGP action in Germany this weekend having opted to try and comeback from injury way ahead of schedule.

The nine-times world champion has declared himself fit to race having tested a factory spec Yamaha R1 World Superbike machine at Misano and Brno recently.

If Rossi now gets the all-clear from medical staff at the Sachsenring tomorrow, he will be back on his factory Yamaha YZR-M1 machine just 41 days after breaking his right leg in a horror high-side during practice for his home race in Mugello.

Rossi has decided to try and ride his Fiat Yamaha YZR-M1 after undergoing medical checks in Italy today (Italy). 

The 31-year-old said: “"I'm really excited that my doctors think I can ride this weekend. Tomorrow I will see the medical officer and then we will have the final decision. I felt good on the R1 but I know my M1 at the track is a different thing and it will be hard for me, but I miss my bike and my team and I want to try. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone and being back in the paddock; I was tired of being at home! Wataru (Yoshikawa) will be there as well so if there is a problem he will ride my bike again."

The Italian has made a phenomenally quick recovery since his crash in early June.  Aided by regular sessions in a hyperbaric chamber and intensive therapy,  he will return to partner runaway world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo way ahead of schedule.

When Rossi suffered the worst injury of his illustrious career in Mugello, he was adamant he would not rush his return or try and make a comeback before he was fully recovered.

His initial target for his return was the Czech Republic MotoGP in Brno on August 15. But many thought he would delay a comeback until his home race in Misano in early September.

Rossi can’t walk without the aid of a crutch and as well as the strength in his right leg a concern, he’s also not fully recovered from the severe ligament damage in his right shoulder that he suffered in a motocross training accident in April.

But an impressive testing performance at the Brno circuit on Monday made it clear that Rossi was on course for a return.

Rossi completed 46 laps at the Czech Republic circuit, clocking a best time of 1.59.135 on a soft Pirelli qualifying tyre. His best lap on race rubber was a 1.59.8. That was 0.6s slower than Cal Crutchlow’s best on the R1 in the second race in Brno yesterday with the British rider posting a 1.59.291.

Rossi did though lap faster than former Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider James Toseland. Toseland’s best in Sunday’s races was a 2.00.089. Track temperature though was cooler and more conducive to faster lap times today.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt