"The Doctor" Valentino Rossi has two obstacles to overcome this weekend in Jerez: pilot his Fiat Yamaha M1 with a sore shoulder, and beat two riders competing in their native country.
Concerning his injury, when information was first release about Rossi’s motorcross training accident, he had only "bruised" his shoulder. But during the MotoGP press conference for the Spanish Grand Prix, he said his shoulder "tried to come out," and is causing the 31-year-old pain, which ultimately affects his riding.
Valentino Rossi says: "Unfortunately the shoulder is still a problem and there is some pain. Normally this injury takes three weeks to heal and it’s two weeks since it happened now, so I really need another seven days to be fully fit again. I was very lucky that Motegi was postponed as it has given me an extra week to work on the shoulder and it has improved very much, but we will only find out how much tomorrow."
The other obstacle is being challenged by two Spanish riders contending before a home crowd, his teammate Jorge Lorenzo and Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa. During his tenure in the 250cc GP Championship, Lorenzo won in Jerez in 2006 and 2007, the same years he took the title. The 22-year-old finished second behind Rossi during the season opener in Qatar.
As for Pedrosa, Rossi only beat him by a slim 2.7 seconds during last year’s meeting at the 2.748-mile circuit. Pedrosa, who struggled with his Honda RC212 during pre-season testing, finished seventh in Qatar. The Spaniard will be experimenting with a stiffer frame this weekend.
Although Rossi faces these obstacles, VR46 still holds the lap record (1:39.818) in Jerez, and has won there eight times, six of those in the premier motorcycle racing class.
Current Moto GP Standings
1. (46) Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha, 25
2. (99) Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha, 20
3. (4) Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda, 16
4. (69) Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Marlboro, 13
5. (11) Ben SPIES USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 11
6. (14) Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda, 10
7. (26) Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda, 9
8. (5) Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 8
9. (65) Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki, 7
10. (7) Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Interwetten Honda, 6
11. (58) Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini, 5
12. (40) Hector BARBERA SPA Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati, 4
13. (33) Marco MELANDRI ITASan Carlo Honda Gresini, 3
14. (19) Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki, 0
15. (41) Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati, 0
16. (27) Casey STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro, 0
17. (36) Mika KALLIO FIN Pramac Racing Team Ducati, 0