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Page last updated at 12:25 GMT, Sunday, 6 June 2010 13:25 UK

Valentino Rossi faces six months out after breaking leg

Italy MotoGP, Mugello
Date: Saturday 5 June/Sunday 6 June
Saturday BBC coverage: Qualifying - 1150-1500, BBC Red Button/online
Sunday BBC coverage: 125cc and Moto2 races - 0950-1205, BBC Red Button/online; Race live - 1230-1400, BBC Two/online; MotoGP Extra - 1400-1430, BBC Red Button/online

Valentino Rossi holds his injured leg

Rossi breaks leg in horror crash

Valentino Rossi could be out for up to six months after suffering a compound fracture of his right leg in a crash in practice for Sunday's Italian MotoGP.

The 31-year-old reigning world champion had surgery on Saturday and is expected to be out of hospital in a week or so.

"We're confident he will be able to leave in a week to 10 days, able to put weight on the leg with the aid of crutches," said Dr Roberto Buzzi.

"It's hard to say how long the post-surgery rehabilitation will take."

"We need to evaluate the progress of the patient and also what the X-rays will show," he added.


"We can reasonably think of six weeks of partial weight-bearing with crutches, after which Valentino needs to be re-evaluated, according to his feedback and further X-rays."

Dr Buzzi said Rossi's morale "seems to be high" and his only requests were for peace and quiet and a television to watch Sunday's race.

Mugello track medical chief Dr Claudio Costa had earlier described Rossi's injury - a displaced and exposed fracture of his right tibia - as a "very ugly fracture" while Dr Buzzi later reportedly said it was the worst type of injury he had operated on and expressed doubt that Rossi would return to racing in 2010.

"He needs to recover fully before returning," added Rossi's father Graziano.

"It could be one month, it could be five, it isn't important. He is in no rush."

Rossi had come into the weekend second in the championship standings, nine points behind Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who has won the last two races.

Rossi was fastest in Friday's practice session and third fastest in the Saturday morning session when he crashed 15 minutes from the end.

The Italian lost control of his Yamaha while changing direction between two curves at turn 13 on his second practice run. He was flipped in the air at 180kph (111 mph) and landed hard on his right leg.

Rossi is evacuated by air ambulance
Rossi was flown by helicopter to Florence for surgery after the crash

Rossi attempted to stand up but was clearly in great pain and was taken away on a stretcher to a track medical facility where the injury was diagnosed, before being flown by helicopter to a hospital in Florence.

Following the accident, Fiat Yamaha team boss Lynn Jarvis told BBC Sport that the team would consider their options as to finding a replacement for Rossi.

"We have a contractual obligation to do that," he said.

"We're not thinking about it now, but once we know his period of recovery, we'll think about it."

Yamaha team manager Davide Brivio also said the seven-time MotoGP world champion would not be hurried back.

"We won't rush his recovery time," said Brivio.

"It will be a normal recovery."

When qualifying for Sunday's race took place in the afternoon, Dani Pedrosa set the fastest time, ahead of Lorenzo and Casey Stoner.

All three riders sent their sympathy and best wishes to their rival.

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MotoGP calendar 2011
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