Valentino Rossi has been ruled out of his home Grand Prix at Mugello with a fractured tibia, and is likely to miss at least the next four races. The Italian suffered a vicious highside at the fast Biondetti left-right flick, being thrown off his bike and cracking his shinbone. He was taken to the Clinica Mobile where he was diagnosed with a fractured tibia, and then flown immediately to hospital in Florence for surgery.
The fracture is open, and has punctured the skin, and surgery is to be performed this afternoon to pin the bones and seal the skin. The surgery is to be performed by Dr Roberto Uzzi at the CTO Firenze hospital in Florence.
According to Claudio Macchiagodena of the Clinica Mobile, a normal person would require three months to recover, but racers with similar accidents have been back on track after 40 days. Both Toni Elias (at Assen) and Max Sabbatani (also here at Mugello) suffered similar injuries, and were back within 6 weeks.
This is possibly the worst possible time to suffer such an injury, with 6 races in 8 weeks. A 6 week hiatus would mean the first opportunity for Rossi to return would be at the Sachsenring, or possibly at Laguna Seca, but as both those tracks are particularly physical to ride, Rossi may feel it is more prudent to skip those two races, and wait until Brno, in the middle of August.
With Rossi out for that length of time, MotoGP's regulations require that the Fiat Yamaha team field a replacement. No doubt this will generate an avalanche of speculation as to who is to replace Rossi for those races, but a team spokesperson pointed out that it is far too early to be even thinking about that yet.
The official press release is shown below:
ROSSI FRACTURES RIGHT TIBIA IN MUGELLO
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 thirteen, the fast chicane at the top of the hill, and was taken immediately to the circuit Medical Centre 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.
Updated press release from Yamaha:
ROSSI INJURY UPDATE - 1230 CET
Following his crash in practice for the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello this morning, Valentino Rossi has been taken by helicopter to the Careggi Hospital in Florence for a deeper medical examination. After that he will be moved to the CTO (Centro Traumatologico Ortopedico), which is close by.
The official diagnosis, made by the circuit Medical Centre and the Chief Medical Officer, is that Rossi has suffered a displaced and exposed fracture to the third medium of the right shinbone.
More information will be released once it is available in due course.
ROSSI INJURY UPDATE - 1430 CET
After undergoing further medical checks at the Careggi Hospital Emergency Centre and afterwards at the CTO (Centro Traumatologico Ortopedico) in Florence, it has been decided that Valentino Rossi will undergo an operation this afternoon on his fractured right shinbone. He is going under anaesthetic now and a further update will be sent once the operation has finished.
Rossi crashed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello this morning, suffering a displaced and exposed fracture to the third medium of the right shinbone.
The official MotoGP.com has footage showing the crash, and just how big a highside it was, exactly. You can find the free footage here: http://www.motogp.com/en/news/2010/rossi+under+knife+this+saturday