If Valentino Rossi receives clearance from the Chief Medical Officer at Sachsenring on Thursday, the Italian says he will compete in the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, Round 8 of the MotoGP Championship.
Rossi’s planned return in Germany comes much earlier than the expected, which was the Czech Republic GP in August. If he competes aboard his Fiat Yamaha M1, "The Doctor" will have 11 rounds to garner additional points, possibly enough to keep his championship title.
Valentino Rossi says: "I’m really excited that my doctors think I can ride this weekend. Tomorrow I will see the medical officer and then we will have the final decision. I felt good on the R1 but I know my M1 at the track is a different thing and it will be hard for me, but I miss my bike and my team and I want to try. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone and being back in the paddock; I was tired of being at home! Wataru will be there as well so if there is a problem he will ride my bike again."
The 31-year old sits in seventh in the championship with 61 points. Rossi missed the last four rounds, Catalunya, Assen, Silverstone and Mugello, the latter the round where Rossi broke his leg during a horrific highside during practice on June 5.
After just four weeks of recovery at home in Italy, which included a rigorous rehabilitation program, Rossi first returned to the track aboard a World Superbike Yamaha R1 at Misano on July 7, and then again this past Monday at Brno. Both tests ended on a positive note for the nine-time world champion.
Rossi has much luck at Sachsenring; he took the checkered flag a total of five times, including his stellar performance in 2006 where he started from 10th on the grid and finished first.
Davide Brivio (Fiat Yamaha Team Manager) says: "Valentino has made big effort to be ready to race in Sachsenring this weekend. He really wanted to be back riding his M1 as soon as he could and so he’s worked hard to make his recovery as quick as possible. We expect him to take a couple of races to be up to speed and competitive at the top after his injury, but it’s very nice to see him back with us."
If Rossi decides not to return this weekend, Wataru Yoshikawa, who stood in for Rossi at the last round in Catalunya, will be his substitute rider once again. During Catalunya, Yoshikawa finished in 19th.
Wataru Yoshikawa says: "Though only one month has passed since Mugello, Valentino is back and I am amazed at the marvellous recovery he has made. I respect his decision to try to ride, and it seems from the R1 test he did that he is still very fast! I am ready to ride if I need to, but it will be good if Valentino is back in his rightful place. I have learnt a lot riding the M1 in a racing environment and I think it will be useful in my future development work."
While Rossi was recovering, his teammate Jorge Lorenzo began a dominating trend, and already has won five of the last seven rounds. The 23-year-old Spaniard currently has a 52-point lead over his fellow countryman in second-place, Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa.
Jorge Lorenzo says: "Sachsenring is a track that I like, but I’ve never won there. It’s the same for Laguna so I’m excited about these two nice challenges before the holidays! Sachsenring is quite a difficult track, with a lot of ups and downs, and it’s also one of the shortest tracks in MotoGP. We don’t know about the weather, it can be very hot there but it would be better than rain. I’m happy Valentino is back, welcome to him!"