Just how fit is Valentino Rossi after his motocross crash? No one really knows, including Valentino. We will all find out when he goes out to try and do a normal practice tomorrow morning and sees how the pain is and difficulty in breathing hampers him. Then he will decide whether he has to ration the number of laps he does in order to have the energy to race on Sunday.
What happened? According to the man himself, he came off a jump and landed a metre off the track on soft ground. The bike stopped and Vale’s chest smashed into the handlebars. Pain and difficulty breathing put him in hospital for a night but there were no fractures. Things have got a lot better in the last two days, but he still has a big problem.
So will this put racers off training on motocross bikes? Valentino thinks his motocross career may be over but Marc Marquez says he won’t stop: “At home on the sofa, you won’t improve.”
Andrea Dovizoso, a top-level ‘crosser in his youth, has no intention of stopping: “We play with the limits every time,” is the way he justifies the risks. How can you be expected to push those limits every time you get on a bike if you don’t practice doing it?
Two men aren’t so sure. Dani Pedrosa rides motocross in winter, but no jumps after a big crash a few years ago. Maverick Vinales first win this year came after he didn’t ride a ‘crosser for a month so now he sees no need for it. Andrea Iannone doesn’t ride one for a very good reason: “I’m no good.”
That’s a complete spectrum of views, and the same can be said of opinions on the new, stiffer-construction front Michelin that becomes standard issue from tomorrow. We will see if opinion is still divided after what promises to be a day in the Tuscan sunshine.