Amid the disappointment at Valentino Rossi’s search for that illusive tenth world title being over for this year at least, there were signs he won’t be away for long. “Now I want to be back on my bike as soon as possible,” the 38-year old is quoted as saying in a Yamaha press release. “I will do my best to make it happen!”

Now Dr Raffaele Pascarella, the doctor that oversaw last night’s operation on Rossi’s broken right leg, and director of the Orthopedic and Trauma Division at Ancona hospital, believes the nine-time world champion will need 30 to 40 days of recovery before he will be ready to ride a grand prix motorcycle.

Rossi suffered breaks to both his right tibula and fibula – the same leg he broke at Mugello in 2010 – when he fell while enduro riding on Thursday. He underwent an operation that night, and said he “already felt good” when he awoke from the procedure on Friday morning.

Pascarella described the breaks to Rossi’s tibula and fibula as “complicated” and told Italian media: “The operation lasted one hour. We used a pin to stabilise the fracture. The leg is a bit swollen, and he will stay here for a few days before beginning physiotherapy immediately."

Along with stating Rossi will remain in hospital for three or four more days, he added, “It will take between 30 and 40 days to recover the condition that he needs to return and compete on a MotoGP bike.”

That means Rossi will almost certainly miss the upcoming races at Misano and Aragon, all-but-ending his championship hopes for this season. The 38-year old currently sits fourth overall, 26 points behind title leader Andrea Dovizioso in the standings.

There are now 41 days until the 15th round of the 2017 season – the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, which begins the exhausting run of flyaway races, that see riders race three times in as many weekends.

It remains to be seen whether Rossi will be fit enough to manage that intensive slog that would require him to be on a MotoGP bike for nine out of 16 days. Yet if his words from this morning are to be believed, the aim is to be present in Japan to ride in FP1 on October 13th.


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