Contingent on his physical fitness after Round 16 in Phillip Island, Valentino Rossi may opt out of the final two rounds of the 2010 MotoGP Championship in Portugal and Valencia to undergo surgery on his shoulder.
The Fiat Yamaha rider injured his right shoulder during an accident April 15 while motocross training in Pesaro in his Native country of Italy. The accident occurred before Round 2 in Jerez, but Rossi still managed a third-place finish behind Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa and race winner and teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
This was Rossi’s first injury, preceding his horrific accident during practice in Mugello. During that wreck, Rossi broke his leg and missed that race and the subsequent three. This was the Rossi failed to start an event in his professional racing career. If he started at Mugello, it would have been his 231st consecutive start across all classes.
On top of the broken tibia, Rossi soon leared the shoulder injury appeared worse than expected; Rossi injured a tendon during the MX wreck, but never had any treatment.
Valentino Rossi says: “I only have 50-percent power in my shoulder, it is now a bigger problem than my leg. I cannot ride like I want. I don’t want to have surgery but the pain is constant and the situation has not improved.”
The nine-time world champion says if he receives surgery on his shoulder, it will take two months to heal. And the pain is not good for the next round in Motegi for the Japanese Grand Prix. The track will be tough on riders, due to hard braking and many tight right-handers.
Plus, the Oct. 3 race at Motegi is the first of three consecutive races, including Sepang and Phillip Island.
Valentino Rossi says: “Phillip Island, and Sepang are good tracks that will be important to understand the extent of my injury in relation to the final two races. Both these tracks are easier for me but unfortunately Motegi (Japan) will be the worst for my shoulder. But I have decided to try these three races.”
VR 46 was hoping to finish the season with Yamaha, but wants to be healed earlier so he can immediately start work with the Ducati Team. Rossi signed a two-year contract with Ducati and will riding next to American Nicky Hayden starting next year.
At the last round for the inaugural Aragon Grand Prix, the 31-year-old Rossi struggled, finishing sixth.
Valentino Rossi says “This was a very difficult race for us; we had a lot of problems all weekend and I was very slow today. I had to try to arrive to the end but I couldn’t do better than sixth. All the Yamahas have suffered here but my shoulder problems made it even worse for me and this, combined with the problems with our package at this track, made it extra hard. We’re very sad this afternoon and we hope for better in Japan.”
But as stated before, Motegi’s layout is going to be harsh on Rossi’s shoulder. This will make for another downside in The Doctor’s most unsuccessful year of racing in the world championship.
Valentino Rossi – 2010 MotoGP Finishes (after 13 of 18 rounds):
1. Qatar, 1st
2. Jerez, 3rd
3. Le Mans, 2nd
4. Mugello, DNS
5. Silverstone, DNS
6. Assen, DNS
7. Catalunya, DNS
8. Sachsenring, 4th
9. Laguna Seca, 3rd
10. Brno, 5th
11. Indy, 4th
12. Misano, 3rd
13. Aragon, 6th