Latest From Yamaha: Q&A With Rossi - Back At Brno, Or Maybe Indy

The latest update on Valentino Rossi's condition comes in a rather unusual form, though an extremely informative one. Yamaha Racing today released a question and answer session with Valentino Rossi, in which he answers most of the burning questions Rossi's many fans have. The good news is that Rossi has not lost his fire for racing. The bad news is that he won't be back until Brno at the very earliest. Read for yourself what Rossi had to say:

Gerno di Lesmo, Italy
Thursday 10th June 2010


1. Vale, first question: how are you and are you still in pain?

VR: "The positive thing is that the worst is past and that the two operations went well, so everything is okay. Now I am expecting a difficult period, in which I have to be aware of the risk of infection and in which I must remain with the leg constantly elevated. Then there will come a second key period, when I will be able to start my rehabilitation and, with support on the leg, will be able to start to walk around with crutches."

2. Dr. Buzzi talked about a rehabilitation period of about five or six months, what do you think?

VR: "It's to be expected that Dr. Buzzi has been very cautious in his prognosis. I want to heal the injury; that is the only thing I'm interested in. If I miss four races or six races, it doesn't make any difference. The right time to return could be Brno, but it won't necessarily be like this."

3. Do you remember the accident?

VR: "I remember everything perfectly. I didn't hit my head, I didn't hit anything else. The airbag in my leathers worked very well and my helmet was just slightly scratched. I don't have a single bruise! The problem was that I landed on my leg, and it was stuck under my body. If I had landed on my back it would have been different. I had a new tyre and I'd done two laps, then I slowed down because I had Barbera behind me. When I came back onto the racing line Pedrosa arrived and I didn't want to cause a problem for him so I moved again but then when I reopened the gas, it happened suddenly and unexpectedly. Seven seconds were enough to make the tyre drop temperature dramatically. The error was mine."

4. Who would you like to thank?

VR: "First of all I want to thank Professor Buzzi of the CTO Careggi in Florence and all of his staff, because they were brilliant. Fortunately, doing it at Mugello meant I wasn't far from the Careggi and this was very lucky. I also want to thank everybody else at the Careggi and all the nurses because they treated me so well, then the staff at the Clinica Mobile and the marshals and officers at the Mugello circuit. Finally, a big hello and particular thanks to all the fans because never, not even for a second, have they let me forget their affection and support. The messages I saw on Sunday on television from the circuit were beautiful."

5. At any time since the accident has there been a moment when you have said "stop racing motorcycles"?

VR: "Sincerely, I haven't felt any fear. I was a bit horrified when I saw the leg, yes...but the thing I dislike the most is to miss so many races! I will take all the time I need and be sure not to do anything stupid because I want to return quickly, but only if my condition allows it. I know I have a bike for next year and I don't need to rush my return to demonstrate anything. I could miss just four races but I still wouldn't come back to win the championship. It's better to be careful, finish the rehabilitation in the best way and come back to race for many more years. I've heard of many other sportsmen, a lot in fact, who have had the same problem as me. One example for everyone: Mark Webber called me and he has had an exposed fracture of the right leg. He told me to be very patient and that I would have some moments of discomfort, but that in the end recovery was guaranteed."

6. Now you have some time at home to rest and to think... 

VR: "Yes, now I have a lot of time at home to rest, to recover and to think. Firstly, I want to use this time to improve some things. I want to improve my English, learn something new, read a lot. Basically, I want to improve and learn. This I will do for sure. If your question instead is referring to 2011, this incident will not influence my choices for next year in any way. Last Saturday hasn't changed anything. I just have one broken leg extra! The result of 2010, therefore, has never been relevant to my decisions for the future."

7. During your enforced rest, will you also be working on your injured shoulder?

VR: "Definitely, yes. This is one of the few positive things about this incident; finally I can work on the rehabilitation of the shoulder, in no hurry, without operations and without races. From tomorrow I will restart the exercises, lying on my bed, and I am certain that when I return the shoulder will be completely recovered. When I come back I will be in perfect shape, although it won't mean that I can win straight away. When you return after an enforced break you not only have to think about the body, but also the mind. I won't be able to come back and win immediately."

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All these people here saying Rossi's going to retire or go to car racing, I knew they were jumping to conclusions. He'll be back!

"Seven seconds were enough to make the tyre drop temperature dramatically. The error was mine."

Wow. That is one thing I have loved about Rossi. He is quick to take ownership if he makes a mistake. Hope he mends quickly and fully. It is just not the same without the Master of Ceremonies there.

No blame. No tire this or that. No martyr.

Pure class.

As well we've never seen this guy in 'come back' mode. MotoGP as always remains interesting...

What struck me most in this Q&A session is the following statement: 'I know I have a bike for next year...' .

Maybe he just wants to say that there are plenty of offers for next year or... maybe he already signed a contract.

More like he knows he doesn't need to worry because even if Yamaha don't want him the other teams will happily sacrifice their first born to sign him. When you're the GOAT you get to chose when you retire, you don't just get dumped like other riders have been.

What a class act. Mea Culpa. No finger pointing. True class.

I'm glad (if unsurprised) that Rossi is coming back ASAP, guns blazing. My only concern is that he takes ALL the time necessary to heal completely, so that he doesn't pull a Doohan and ride when he NEVER should be riding. I admire Doohan for what he did, but all the same, it was foolish in the extreme. Rossi knows that there's no championship hopes for this year, so I hope that he'll just take it easy. If it means six months, then I hope that's what he does. I've written this season off, and if there's no championship hopes, I hope he does, too.

I don't think that this hurts his bargaining power with Yamaha AT ALL, because they're seeing now, and they'll see in the future, what life without Rossi is like. The lower attendance, the attention mostly all focused on Rossi...really, this could be one of the best things for Rossi's bargaining power that could possibly happen. His absence shows them just how hugely vital it is for them to keep him at all costs.

Also, I don't believe that he'll not win when he comes back. If, that is, he waits long enough. If he rushes it, that may be true, and it could damage him even more. If he waits until he's truly healthy, then he'll be firing on all cylinders from the get-go, and the rest of the paddock will be in deep...

(I'm still "tough" enough to admit that it still just about brings me to tears sometimes. I wish this was just some awful nightmare. Waiting TEN more months for some good racing...seems like a prison sentence right now...)