Valentino Rossi’s factory Yamaha team boss Davide Brivio says he’s surprised at the fast recovery the Italian has made from a broken right leg.
Just six weeks since suffering a compound fracture of his right tibia bone in Mugello, Rossi is planning a dramatic comeback in this weekend’s German Grand Prix at the tight and twisty Sachsenring circuit.
The 31-year-old has spent hours recuperating in a hyperbaric chamber while also undergoing intensive training exercises in the gym and swimming pool.
But Brivio said Rossi’s powers of recovery were still impressive and he told MCN in the Sachsenring paddock this evening: “It is very surprising to think that Valentino will be back so quickly because I remember at the start the doctors were talking about four or five months out.
"But this is the time to be perfectly fit if you play basketball or football and you need to use the leg a lot. Motorcycle racing is a little bit different but it is fantastic to see him back.”
Rossi just needs final clearance from medical staff at the Germany circuit to return to action on Friday, just 41 days since his horror high-side during practice for his home race at Mugello.
But having set impressive lap times during a 46-lap stint on a factory Yamaha R1 World Superbike in Brno earlier this week, Brivio is confident that Rossi will sail through a strict medical check.
He added: “It is very important to say that Valentino still has to be given permission to ride from the Chief Medical Officer but we believe he has shown in Misano and Brno that he can ride a racing motorcycle fast and we don’t expect any problems.
He’s willing to start even if we know, and Valentino accepts this also, that it will take a couple of races for him to get back up to speed. It is a bit like starting again after the winter break but the other guys have not stopped.”
Rossi declared himself fit after thorough medical checks in Italy today that included X-rays and detailed scans of his tibia to make sure the bone had knitted together well.
He had shown in Misano and Brno though that he was ready for a return.
Rossi clocked a best time of 1.59.135 on a soft Pirelli qualifying tyre at Brno.
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 WSB race 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.
Brivio added: “The two tests were very important for him to gain confidence but also to understand that it was possible for him to consider trying a return in Germany. And he did some amazing lap times so there is nothing wrong with his riding.
"Valentino has been working very hard in these last few weeks. He’s spent hours in the swimming pool and in the gym and pushing himself. He felt okay and much better in Brno than in Misano. The shoulder was also not a big problem.”