Valentino Rossi says the mental pain of “throwing away” his shot at the 2017 MotoGP title due to injury is worse than the physical pain of his broken leg.
The Italian is expected to miss at least two races following a motocross crash in Italy last week, which rules him out of what was shaping up to be a five-way battle for the championship.
“The leg is painful, but in general I feel good,” Rossi said in an interview with the MotoGP website ahead of his home race at Misano this weekend, which takes place close to his home town of Tavullia.
“It is a lot worse, the mental condition, because it was a great shame, throwing away the chance for the championship, and also the race in Misano in front of all of the fans in my home grand prix.
“I have to say sorry to my team that I don’t race, but now we have to work for a comeback as soon as possible.”
Rossi is not yet sure when he will be able to return to action, with October’s Motegi round a likely target.
“I learn from the other time that in this phase, you have to live day by day,” he added. “It depends very much on the leg, very much on the pain.
“We already work, we try to come back as soon as possible. The next race after Misano is Aragon, but I think that it will be very hard because that is just 22 days after the injury.
“We need double, or at least 40 days. Last time I came back after 40 days.
“This time the fracture is better, less painful, but it’s very early to say. If I’m not able [to ride] in Aragon I will try for Motegi.”
Yamaha will not field a replacement for Rossi this weekend, focusing solely on Maverick Vinales at Misano.
The Spaniard said in the pre-event press conference at Misano: "For sure it is a shame that Valentino is not here, especially because it is his home track and he is really fast here.
"It would have been also very interesting for us trying to compare bikes, compare data just to improve, but anyway Yamaha is giving 100 percent.
"We are going to try to be the podium or to make even a better result. We are going to try to reduce the gap in the championship and it is important to start already well on Friday."