The 2017 MotoGP Season for Valentino Rossi just took a very sour turn. The Italian has been confirmed as down and out with a broken leg injury following an enduro training run.
Valentino Rossi has found himself in a nightmare. Perhaps 2017 has some hidden malice toward professional motorcycle riders for some reason, but after the sudden death of Nicky Hayden only months ago, any incident that risks a rider’s life and well-being feels that much rawer. Unfortunately for all the GOAT’s fans, reality has decided to give the grizzled veteran another vicious blow.
The MotoGP Yamaha rider has been confirmed by the team to have sustained a broken right leg during an enduro training accident. Rossi has already undergone surgery on his right leg, which sustained displaced fractures of the tibia and fibula.
Astute fans will recall Rossi’s crash back in 2010 at Mugello, where a nasty high-side threw Valentino clear off the track and into the gravel, resulting in a very similar injury on the same leg. Eager to quell the concerns to Rossi’s legion of fans, the doctor that presided over the surgery, Dr. Pascarella, has issued a statement explaining the details of the surgery, stating that while the fracture was very close to the same location as the previous one, the initial fracture would have healed within five months.
“First, I want to say that Valentino is fine and this is the most important thing for us all,” he added, speaking in a press conference on Friday.
I think he will certainly have to rest for 30 to 40 days, and then we will evaluate together in the next few weeks how to proceed.” — Dr. Raffaele Pascarella
While the Doctor’s statements may only result in a mild panacea to the panic that threatens Rossi’s championship contention, the Italian himself has come forward in statements emphasizing his desire to get back on a bike as soon as possible – but not before thanking the Doctor and his expert team for putting him back together:
“I would like to thank the staff of the Ospedali Riuniti in Ancona, and in particular Doctor Pascarella who operated on me.
I’m very sorry for the incident. Now I want to be back on my bike as soon as possible. I will do my best to make it happen!” – Valentino Rossi
Rossi will undoubtedly fall even further in the 2017 Championship standings due to the month or more of racing he will be forced to miss. However, the implications of Rossi’s crash may extend far beyond the current season.
The Italians inevitable retirement is still looming on the horizon, and there’s no telling just what might come to Rossi’s mind in the period of recovery that he has ahead of him.
While he’s always bounced back from setbacks before, Rossi’s not getting any younger, and the near-identical location of his injury does raise questions regarding the impact of his injury on his future. Rossi could well decide that the increased recovery time that comes with age may be reason enough for the veteran to consider hanging up the hat and transitioning into a more administrative position.
Only time will tell how Rossi’s crash will impact both him and the Movistar Yamaha team, but something gives us the feeling that there’s still enough gas left in his tank.