MotoGP: Fitter Rossi ready to battle at Motegi

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A fitter Valentino Rossi says he’s well on the road to recovery after his broken leg only six weeks ago – and is hoping to be competitive again this weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix when MotoGP returns to action from its two-week hiatus.

Returning to action at his flat track race last weekend for the first time and admitting that he was comfortable despite some pain in the right leg – and that he’s feeling better every day as his incredible recovery continues.

“After my return to MotoGP in Aragón, the work and my recovery have continued. It was good to have two more weeks after the last race to work on my rehabilitation, because now we will have three races in a row and it will be important to be in a good physical condition. I did everything possible to get pretty fit for the round at the Motegi track, because this is always a very important GP for Yamaha. I like this circuit very much and I'm glad to be here. We will do everything we can to get the best result possible.”

Yet despite Rossi being out of the championship race, the pressure is well and truly on in the other side of the Movistar Yamaha camp as teammate Maverick Viñales takes the fight to Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez for the final four races of the year.

“The next Grand Prix, held in Japan, is very special for me since it’s one of my favourites of the season and it’s also the home race of Yamaha. I hope to do a good job and be able to collect more points for the championship, which is crucial to continue fighting for the title. For the next races we have to try to work even more than usual.

“We have to keep fighting and working with high motivation, even though it will not be easy to complete the last part of the season and bridge the gap between the championship leader and me. I will try to work even harder and I arrive in Japan with the aim to learn and be even stronger. I’m convinced that, with the support of the amazing fans at the Motegi circuit, we will be able to give our 100%.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer