Valentino Rossi will defy pain from a finger injury during Sunday's Czech Republic MotoGP at Brno.

The seven time MotoGP champion damaged his hand in final practice, when he lost the front of his Movistar Yamaha under braking for a fast uphill chicane.

Alvaro Bautista fell in the same place just moments later, his bouncing Gresini Honda fortunately missing the #46.

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"I was pushing a lot and my pace was fast but unfortunately when entering turn eleven I was a little bit too wide," Rossi explained. "I was braking hard, trying to enter the corner anyway but I lost the front and damaged my little finger."

Rossi punched the gravel trap in frustration - with his other hand - upon realising he was injured, but was fortunately declared fit for qualifying after medical checks found no fractures.

The Italian, who led FP4 despite the accident, returned to qualify seventh on the grid - setting his best lap of the weekend, just 0.236s behind Marc Marquez and pole position.

"It's very important for tomorrow that there is no fracture. It seems like there won't be any problem," said Rossi, whose fallen bike bounced over the trackside guardrail. "My finger is not broken; it's just a little bit damaged. I think and hope that it won't give me a lot of problems for the race."

Team director Massimo Meregalli stated: "Unfortunately Vale crashed in free practice otherwise I'm sure he would be further in front. He really put in a lot of effort as he had a big, deep abrasion on his hand. It's a shame that we lost the second row for almost nothing."

Rossi starts round eleven just four points behind Marquez's Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa in the battle for second in the world championship. Pedrosa will start fifth on Sunday, with Rossi's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo sixth.

Commenting on race tyre choice, Rossi added: "Using the soft front tyre for tomorrow is not an option for me. I think using the hard tyre on the front is better."

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kiwimike: @ Llarry,

It's nothing like as bad as the finger injury Smith has been coping with for most of the season.

Pray tell - what relevance is Smith's finger injury to Valentino's finger injury??
Just curious.[\blockquote]

I shall pray tell.
Smith has ridden throughout most of this year with a much worse finger injury yet I can't recall even a single instance when either he or any other posters have used this as an excuse for his performance.
All this weekend we have heard the usual bleating from Rossi fans about how he could win at Brno. Go Rossi & all that, rah rah rah.
When the result tomorrow is Marquez, Lorenzo, Pedrosa, with Rossi some way back in either 4th or 5th (or lower), I'll be interested to count how many times Rossi fans post about the finger injury slowing him down. Like you, just curious.

It's nothing like as bad as the finger injury Smith has been coping with for most of the season.
EDIT by CRASH.NET! Stirring comment removed.