Valentino Rossi has come away form his home race at the Italian Grand Prix pleased to have made important damage limitation to his 2017 title hopes only a week after leaving himself seriously enough injured in a motocross crash to warrant a night in hospital.
Coming away from Mugello with 13 valuable points – and ahead of reigning champion Marc Marquez – gave the Movistar Yamaha a lucky escape from what could have been disaster; something he acknowledged after the race.
“I knew that today’s race would be more difficult than usual for me. While on the bike I rode well and I didn't have pain, but I was struggling a bit and I knew that 23 laps would be long and hard. I tried my best, I did a perfect start and I led the race for some laps, but I couldn't really ride the way I would have liked to.
“At the end I tried to stay close to the riders in front, but I did not have the power to attack Danilo. I would have liked a lot to be on the podium today, but there was nothing I could do. It’s a bit disappointing that I'm not on the podium at Mugello, but seeing where I was few days ago, and the big hit I took, it’s been a positive weekend all in all.”
And, with another week to recover before the next round of the series in only a few days’ time at Barcelona’s Montmelò circuit, he’s confident that he can make further progress at the Catalan track.
“Being here and riding in front of so many fans was a gift. Now we have just few days before Catalunya, another important race, so I will try to recover and be in perfect shape in Barcelona.”