Rossi's injuries were sustained when he was thrown off his bucking Fiat Yamaha on the exit of turn one, just ten minutes into the session. The Italian was taken straight to the Mobile Clinic and x-rays revealed fractures to the base of his little finger and to the ulnar styloid and pyramidal bones in his right hand. He also sustained bruising to the base of his spine but x-rays revealed there was no serious damage.

The former five times MotoGP world champion, who has never missed a race in his eleven-year grand prix career, is keen to ride tomorrow, as he needs just one point to seal the runner-up spot from Dani Pedrosa, who will start from pole position.

However, a final decision will not be taken until Sunday morning, after his condition has been reassessed by both Dr. Costa and by the Spanish doctors. If Rossi is able to race, he will start from 17th on the grid.

"So, I'm okay, but I was better before the crash!" joked Rossi. "I was going quite well and able to do 33.3 quite easily, but then at a certain point, when I was accelerating, I lost the rear. I tried to get the bike back but it was too late. After the crash I immediately realised that my hand was broken but I didn't know how bad it was. I hit my lower back quite hard as well and actually it hurts quite a lot, but luckily there is no bad damage there.

"Tomorrow morning I will see how I am and then I will take a decision after further consideration with Claudio [Dr. Costa] and also with the Spanish doctors. I have never missed a race in my career and I really don't want to do it tomorrow," he declared. "I remember last year in Assen [when Rossi fractured his wrist in free practice] the pain was more or less the same, but then I was challenging for the championship. Tomorrow I am challenging for second place; it's not quite the same but anyway of course I will would like to be there."

"We will have to wait and see how [Valentino] is," added team director Davide Brivio, "he is being treated and of course we will leave the final decision about whether to race entirely up to him and the doctors. We don't know the exact reason for the crash yet but our engineers are analysing the data now to help us to understand what happened."