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Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Friday, 16 July 2010 15:42 UK

Steve Parrish's MotoGP column

German MotoGP, Sachsenring
Date: 17-18 July
Saturday 17 July Qualifying: 1150-1500, BBC Red Button/online
Sunday 18 July: 125cc & Moto2 races: 0950-1205, BBC Red Button/online. Race live: 1240-1400, BBC Two/online

By Steve Parrish
BBC MotoGP commentator

Riders generally come back because they're worried about their job and money - neither of these applies to Valentino Rossi, but he's still back from his broken leg quicker than anyone could have expected.

Valentino Rossi
Rossi was not expected to be back as early as this weekend

He's broken all the records on the track, so now he wants the record for the quickest comeback. I think he wants to prove to everyone that he really is superhuman by being back in the saddle for Sunday's German MotoGP at Sachsenring.

I'm surprised he's back, but I'm very pleased.

He's clearly sat at home getting bored and won't have enjoyed watching other people riding his bike slowly.

Yamaha will be very glad to have him back for the press coverage they're been missing, but he won't want to come back, fall off and damage the injury again.

To do that would be catastrophic, so he's likely to be tentative and take few risks. I'd be very surprised if he goes out there and rides competitively in the races.

JENNIE GOW BLOG

He'll get huge headlines if he gets a half-decent result this weekend, but over the years he has pretty much surpassed expectation in everything else he's done - he does everything differently to everyone else, and gets away with it.

He could be top 10, maybe top seven, but being cautious and not fully fit, any more than that would be impossible.

This weekend's circuit, Sachsenring, is one of the best tracks to come back at as it's predominantly left-hand turns, so it's easiest for a broken right leg.

I'd be concerned if I was his doctor or anyone involved with him, because if he has a little whoopsie, he could be out for the year - and he'll want to be fit for next season, when it now looks more likely than ever that he'll be at Ducati, following Casey Stoner's decision to leave for Honda.

The move itself wasn't a shock, but I was quite surprised it happened as early as it did.

I'm speaking to Casey at the weekend so it'll be interesting to hear what's gone on.

He's incredibly fast and has out-performed his team-mates on the troublesome Ducati tenfold, so if he can do the same on a Honda everyone will be happy.

Casey Stoner
Stoner has had a frustrating time at Ducati this season

There's never been anyone else who could ride a Ducati like that, but who's to say he's not been riding round the problems so far, and will do even better on a Honda?

When he came back from his illness last year, he was incredibly strong considering he'd had a big lay-off, and that's what made me think this was going to be his year.

But his rhythm has been broken since his crash in the opening race at Qatar, and he seems to have lost his confidence with Ducati - and once that happens, you're never the same.

I'm pretty sure Rossi will replace him. Maybe, when Stoner hinted he might go, Ducati didn't react as strongly as they would have done if they hadn't already had someone else lined up to replace him - otherwise, I'm sure they would have kicked and screamed to hold on to Stoner.

He will still push hard to win races, maybe not as hard as if he'd re-signed for Ducati as he doesn't want to injure himself trying to fight a bike he's not comfortable on, so there will be a bit less pressure.

But this year's world title chances have gone, and there's nothing he can do about that. From a self-satisfaction point of view, he'll want to win races but he won't push at 101%.

The reason his title chances are over is simple - championship leader Jorge Lorenzo.

He's the complete package of a rider, with the complete package of a bike underneath him.

His Yamaha works really well, and at Sachsenring, speed doesn't come into it so being the best bike overall, it should do really well.

He's fit and well and has no problems. Don't discount Dani Pedrosa, who did very well last time at Barcelona after such a bad first corner. Lorenzo won't have it easy, but has got to be favourite for the race and the title. He's got a great bike and is riding at his best level.


My Sachsenring race prediction:

1) Jorge Lorenzo 2) Dani Pedrosa 3) Casey Stoner

Steve Parrish was talking to BBC Sport's Julian Shea.



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see also
Rossi poised to make shock return
15 Jul 10 |  MotoGP
Stoner to swap Ducati for Honda
09 Jul 10 |  MotoGP
Lorenzo seals third straight win
04 Jul 10 |  MotoGP
Lorenzo seals British MotoGP win
20 Jun 10 |  MotoGP
Rossi coy over team plan for 2011
11 Jun 10 |  MotoGP
Rossi sidelined with broken leg
06 Jun 10 |  MotoGP
Rossi wins as Stoner crashes out
11 Apr 10 |  MotoGP
MotoGP calendar 2011
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
MotoGP on the BBC
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
MotoGP standings
31 Oct 10 |  MotoGP
Contact the motorbikes TV team
06 Mar 07 |  MotoGP


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