Aragon was today a land of amateur medical practitioners obsessed with diagnosing the condition of one leg. That leg belongs, of course, to Valentino Rossi, who arrived here today and got out of a car on his own and walked with the aid of just one stick. The shape of the leg was analyzed closely, mainly by ex-racers who know how they’d like their legs to look: it was declared to be the right shape; no swelling, no deformity of any kind to give away the fact he broke his tib and fib three weeks ago. By the man’s own admission he is in far better condition than when he last came back from a broken leg (the same leg as it happens). It looks as if, yet again, the stars have aligned for Valentino. His surgery went without a hitch and there are obviously no complications. More proof that as a sportsman you are better of breaking a long bone than damaging, say, a shoulder rotator cuff. No way is his injury trivial, but Valentino but Valentino is fit to ride. Is he fit to race? I’m not so sure, but his doctors and the local medics have passed him as fit.
Valentino will ride tomorrow. We’ll find out if he’ll do the rest of the weekend as well, but his substitute Michael van der Mark is not expecting to be called upon. Publicly, he is making jokes about having a new set of factory leathers, privately he isn’t so amused.