Mugello MotoGP: Valentino Rossi breaks right leg in massive crash

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Valentino Rossi’s 2010 MotoGP world title hopes disappeared today when he suffered a broken right leg in a huge high-side crash during final practice for his home race at the Mugello circuit in Italy this morning.

The reigning world champion was viciously thrown from his factory Yamaha YZR-M1 machine at the fast entry to the Biondetti chicane shortly before the approach to the final corner.

Rossi couldn’t even attempt to get to his feet as he immediately clutched his right leg in pain. TV pictures showed the 31-year-old grimacing in pain before he was carried away on a stretcher for further checks in the circuit medical centre.

It has been confirmed that the nine-times world champion has suffered a broken right tibia which means he will certainly miss the first British MotoGP race at Silverstone since 1986 later this month. And with so many races coming in quick succession with Silverstone closely followed by Assen and Catalunya, Rossi's title hopes appear in tatters.

The Fiat Yamaha rider was lying in third place on the timesheets when he crashed with a best time of 1.49.923 leaving him 0.251s off the pace of team-mate and world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo.

Rossi was already struggling for full fitness because of a slow recovery from a damaged right shoulder he suffered in a motocross training accident in April.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt