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Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Friday, 16 July 2010 17:10 UK

Valentino Rossi makes superb track return after injury

German MotoGP, Sachsenring, Sunday, 18 July
Qualifying live on BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website from 1150-1500 BST on Saturday125cc/Moto2 races live on Red Button and BBC Sport website from 0950-1205 BST on Sunday Race live on BBC Two and BBC Sport website from 1240-1400 BST on Sunday Full coverage details

Valentino Rossi
Rossi's comeback is ahead of schedule

Valentino Rossi came an impressive seventh in Friday's free practice for the German MotoGP, just six weeks after breaking his right leg.

The seven-time MotoGP world champion has missed four races since his crash but was only marginally slower than Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

Dani Pedrosa was fastest ahead of Ducati's Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden.

"Once again Valentino surprised us all," said Rossi's boss Davide Brivio. "It's a lot better than expected."

When Rossi crashed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello in June, he was told he could expect to be out for up to five months, and it was the first time he had missed a race in his professional career.

But he staged a miraculous recovery to return after just four races out.

In baking hot conditions at the East German Sachsenring circuit, Rossi's quickest lap time was one minute 23.244 seconds, and for much of the session he was in with the top four fastest riders.

"From a team point of view it was like he had never been away, working on the suspension and searching for the best set up," said Brivio.


"His physical condition isn't too bad, a bit more difficult in the right-hand corners and okay on the left."

After the session, Rossi applied ice to his injured leg, but was cautiously upbeat about his performance.

"I am a lot more agile on the bike than I was in the tests," he said.

"I feel good and this track is helping me because a lot of it turns to the left.

"I am feeling quite confident on the bike and also my shoulder is good and not giving me problems. Now I have some pain in the leg and ankle but it's not too bad."

During his absence, Rossi has slipped to seventh in the world rankings, and now lies 104 points behind championship leader Lorenzo.

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see also
Rossi poised to make shock return
15 Jul 10 |  MotoGP
Steve Parrish's MotoGP column
16 Jul 10 |  MotoGP
Rossi optimistic on return target
26 Jun 10 |  MotoGP
Rossi absence 'diminishes title'
18 Jun 10 |  MotoGP
Rossi begins recovery from injury
11 Jun 10 |  MotoGP
Rossi sidelined with broken leg
06 Jun 10 |  MotoGP
MotoGP standings
31 Oct 10 |  MotoGP
MotoGP on the BBC
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP

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