Yamaha cautious on Valentino Rossi’s return date
Yamaha has refused to name a specific race when injured star rider Valentino Rossi will be fit to return to the MotoGP world championship.
Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha team boss Davide Brivio said it was too early to predict when the 31-year-old would be ready for the cut and thrust of competition against the likes of Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner.
Brivio said he expected Rossi would be able to contemplate an August or September return to action while he begins the lengthy recovery from the broken right leg he suffered in Mugello six days ago.
It seems certain that the earliest Rossi could return would be the Czech Republic GP in Brno on August 15, or possibly the Indianapolis round in America a fortnight later.
Yamaha and Rossi though are adamant his comeback won’t be made in haste with his world title hopes crushed, and that could be a dream return to action in front of his home crowd at Misano on September 5.
Looking at a possible return date for the seven-times MotoGP champion, Brivio said: “It is very difficult to say now. We will have to see, step by step, how his recovery goes. Around 45 days after the accident we will have a clearer picture about his condition.
"In the meantime he will be busy with the rehabilitation. At the moment we think it's unlikely that he will be back within the next two months. If everything goes well we might see him racing in August or September."
Brivio confirmed that Rossi would not be seen in the paddock until he is ready to race again.
Rossi was transferred to a hospital in Cattolica near his Tavullia home yesterday (Thursday) having spent five days in Florence.
And Brivio added: “He will probably spend his entire recovery at home. We want Valentino to concentrate fully on his recovery and rehabilitation. Therefore we will not involve him in any activities until he is back to the best physical condition. He will not be attending any races until that time, so the next time we will see Valentino at a track it means that he is ready to race again."
Brivio also confirmed that Rossi’s crash had been caused after he attempted to push too hard on a Bridgestone rear tyre that had dipped below optimum working temperature.
Rossi crashed at high speed during final free practice in Mugello and Brivio added: “Valentino was on his first flying lap with new hard tyres. At ‘Arrabbiata 2' Valentino slowed down to let another rider pass (Hector Barbera), because he was following him. When Valentino opened the throttle again at ‘Biondetti', the first corner on the left, having ridden for about a quarter of the track at a very low speed, the rear tyre had cooled down and lost grip suddenly, causing the crash.
"When Valentino lost the rear of the bike his speed was approximately 180kph (111.84mph) and when he hit the ground it was approximately 150kph (93.20mph).