Reigning World Champion, Valentino Rossi, suffered a hairline fracture to the pisiform bone on his right hand and his left malleolus after he lost grip and fell in morning practice on the first day of activity at the A-Style TT Assen Grand Prix,...
Reigning World Champion, Valentino Rossi, suffered a hairline fracture to the pisiform bone on his right hand and his left malleolus after he lost grip and fell in morning practice on the first day of activity at the A-Style TT Assen Grand Prix, eighth round of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP).
The Italian was able to return to the track in the afternoon and set the twelfth fastest time despite being in some pain and discomfort on a journey that had his teammate, Colin Edwards, in the top spot.
"I'm okay and I would like everyone to relax about it, even if it's been quite hard for me to ride! I have a little fracture on my left foot and also a small fracture on my right wrist, so when I give gas and brake it's really hard", Rossi explained.
The accident happened when Rossi was two laps into his second run in the morning session and the rear tyre of his YZR- M1 machine lost its grip on the cool Assen circuit and threw him into the air at the fast left-hander before the final chicane.
"The problem this morning was that we started with a tyre that was a bit too hard on the left. When it started to rain I stopped and when I started again I felt that I didn't have enough grip on the left side. I tried to do another lap to see if the grip would improve, but in a really fast point, with the bike leaned over on the left side, I took a flight through the air! It was a big high-side and the first time I hit the ground was very hard", commented the seven time World Champion.
Rossi set 12th best laptime after he came back to the track for the afternoon session. The winner last week in Catalunya marked 1m39s458 and ended-up 1s314 adrift Edwards.
The Italian has big hopes to improve during the weekend as the hours pass and the injured areas have needed rest.
"It's a really unlucky thing for us because here I can feel that our bike is working really well, as Colin has shown. The track is not like the old Assen, but anyway it's not so bad. I need to see how it will be when I can ride at the maximum and hopefully I will feel in better shape tomorrow so I can do that", said the reigning champion.
Rossi wasn`t the only rider injured during the first free practice in Assen as Spaniard Toni Elias suffered a fracture of his left shoulder forcing the Fortuna Honda rider to withdraw from the Dutch TT weekend and go home to Barcelona.
"I`m really disappointed about the injury. The season hasn`t been great so far but this is definitely the lowest point, but it`s not the end of the world", Elias mentioned.
With Elias retirement from Assen there`re now two Spanish riders out of activity after Sete Gibernau`s accident last weekend in Catalunya.
The activity for the MotoGP will continue tomorrow with another practice session and the qualifying session for Saturday`s starting grid.