Reigning MotoGP champ and Yamaha pilot Valentino Rossi took a nasty spill at Mugello this morning in today’s final practice session for the Italian Grand Prix, putting him out of contention for tomorrow’s race. In the closing portion of the session, while Rossi was negotiating the Biondetti esses, he lost control of his bike and went into a high-side crash that sent him flying into the gravel trap.
It was immediately obvious that Rossi had sustained a painful injury, as he lay clutching his right leg. He had to be removed from the scene on a stretcher. According to Dr. Claudio Costa, head of the Mugello medical facility, Rossi’s injury was “a very ugly fracture, with the bone exposed.” Rossi was flown by helicopter from Mugello to Florence’s Careggi medical center.
Yamaha subsequently released an official statement, saying, “Valentino Rossi has suffered a displaced and exposed fracture of his right tibia after crashing in practice for the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello this morning. The reigning world champion crashed his Fiat Yamaha M1 at Turn 13, the fast chicane at the top of the hill, and was taken immediately to the circuit medical center for x-rays. Further information will be made public as soon as a more detailed examination has been completed. Rossi will not take any further part in this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.”
Rossi will undergo surgery for the injury this afternoon. Recovery can be expected to take from six to eight weeks. At a minimum, Rossi can be expected to miss the next four MotoGP races, which would all but negate his hopes for successfully defending his title this year.