Valentino Rossi will attempt a MotoGP comeback at this weekend's Aragon Grand Prix, just 22 days after breaking his right tibia and fibula.

The nine-time world champion, who suffered the injury in an enduro training accident, has already missed his home Misano round and wasn't expected back until Motegi, 42 days after the injury.

Movistar Yamaha had announced a replacement, Michael van der Mark, for Aragon - but Rossi signalled his intentions for an early return with a surprise test on an R1 superbike at Misano on Monday afternoon.

That outing was cut short by bad weather, prompting Rossi to complete 20 further superbike laps on Tuesday, with the team reporting 'an improved feeling and a more positive impression compared to yesterday'.

The Italian then underwent a medical examination on Wednesday, before deciding to ride at Aragon. Rossi will still need to pass a medical at the circuit and admits he won’t get a full answer on his fitness until after FP1.

"Fortunately, yesterday I had a good test with my YZF-R1M in Misano," Rossi confirmed. "I tried also the day before, but the rain stopped me after a few laps. Yesterday I managed to complete 20 laps and find the answers I was looking for.

"Eventually, the test was positive and I want to say thanks to Dr. Lucidi and his staff, who helped me find the best solutions to feel the least amount of pain possible in my leg when I'm riding.

"Obviously at the end of the test I was in a little bit of pain, but this morning I went to Dr. Pascarella for a medical check, and it came out with a positive result. At the end I decided I will leave for Aragón and will try to ride my M1 this weekend.

"If I will be declared fit to ride, I'll have the real answer after FP1, because riding the M1 will be a much bigger challenge. We'll see. See you in Aragon!"

Should Rossi be declared unfit, or be unable to complete the weekend, WorldSBK star van der Mark will remain on standby for a MotoGP debut at Aragon. However the Dutchman would face an even tougher task if he misses out on Friday practice time.

"It remains to be seen if Valentino feels he can complete the entire race weekend, which is very demanding, especially at a circuit like MotorLand Aragón, with big elevation changes," confirmed team director Massimo Meregalli.

"Should Vale feel that his injury is causing him too much discomfort, then Michael van der Mark will step in as the replacement rider.

"If that is the case, the team will put in maximal effort to help him adapt to the YZR-M1 as quick as possible. He didn't get the opportunity to test the bike before, so it would be a very exciting but also interesting weekend for him."

Either way, Rossi's decision to brave the pain and accept the risk of re-injuring the leg in an early return proves beyond doubt just how much desire he still has for racing, at the age of 38.

His main motivation must surely be to fight for the title to the very end - despite slipping to fourth in the championship, 42 points behind Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso, with five rounds to go.

Team-mate Maverick Vinales is third, 26 points ahead of the Italian.

 

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