Finger injury boost for Valentino Rossi

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Valentino Rossi is confident the broken left little finger he suffered in the Japanese Grand Prix will not be a major problem during this weekend’s Phillip Island clash.

The Italian broke his left little finger in a crash on the first lap at the Twin Ring Motegi and he was forced to withdraw from a test on Ducati’s 1000cc GP12 machine in Jerez last week.

But he said he didn’t expect any major issue with the finger injury in Australia on a track where Ducati has never lost in the 800cc era.

Rossi has already written off his hopes of winning a fifth straight Phillip Island race for Ducati and assessing the damage to his finger he said: “The finger has a small fracture but the situation improved a lot because I'm quite good.

"I have some problem with the bike to grip the handlebar and the clutch. But the pain is less every day, so we hope that it will not be a problem for the weekend.”

Rossi also explained why the problem was only diagnosed when he flew back to Italy from Tokyo and he added: “After the race in Japan I made an X-ray because I felt that it was broken. But the machine in the medical centre was a little bit imprecise.

"The doctor said to me he didn’t see anything, but told me when I got home to try another time. On Tuesday morning I go and that’s when I saw the fracture. I have to call Filippo (Preziosi) and then Nicky had to come back and make the test.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt