MotoGP Italy: Valentino Rossi: 'I'm lucky nothing is broken'.

Valentino Rossi is feeling 'lucky' and 'optimistic' ahead of this weekend's home Italian MotoGP, after suffering a big accident while training on a motocross bike last Thursday. The Italian spent a night in hospital after injuring his stomach and chest when he went over the handlebars on the landing of a jump. The Movistar Yamaha rider was officially passed fit to ride on Thursday, but will not know the level of pain and any breathing difficulties until tomorrow's free practice sessions. 

"I was in Cavallara, which is one of my favourite motocross tracks," Rossi said of his accident. "Unfortunately on the landing of a jump, I landed one-metre outside of the track where the ground was soft. So when I landed the bike stopped and I went over the front, and took the handlebar here [points to stomach] and also a big hit to the ground. "But from two days ago the situation improved a lot and especially I start to breathe in a better way. Now we have just to wait and see what happens when I ride the M1. 

"Yesterday I tried a motorcycle, the TMax and after the R6. I feel good on the seat and can move without a lot of pain so I'm quite optimistic, but the stress is not comparable [to MotoGP]. 

"For riding the motorcycle I think two things [will be most difficult]: My movement on the seat, for change direction, which here in Mugello is quite severe and especially when you push hard you need to breathe longer and I still have some pain. These are the parts I need to understand. 

"For sure I'm not at 100%, but it is still Thursday so will be also important to try to improve [my condition] through to Sunday and make a good race." 

Rossi, who has his own dirt track circuit (no jumps) at the Ranch in Tavullia, also admitted that the scare could well mean the end of his motocross 'career'. 

"I always ride motocross, also after 2010 [when he was injured on a motocross bike], because I like it. I enjoy it a lot and I think it's the best training, physically and mentally. But I think that after this crash my Motocross career is maybe over!" Rossi smiled. 

"I feel lucky because sincerely, with that crash, it's very easy to break something and stay at home for the two most important races of the season. So for me it is great to be here and tomorrow to try. 

"Tomorrow morning I will start normally and try to understand if I have some particular pain and need to do less laps to keep some energy for Sunday." 

Rossi starts this weekend having dropped from first to third in the world championship, due to his last lap fall while fighting for victory at Le Mans. 

The Doctor, whose engine failed in last year's home race, is 23-points from team-mate Maverick Vinales and six behind Dani Pedrosa. 

One thing Rossi can be certain of is deafening support from the notoriously passionate Italian fans packing the hillsides. 

"In Mugello the atmosphere is always special, for me and for all the Italian riders, because the fans are very 'hot' and very close to the track," Rossi said. "It helps everybody to give the maximum because you feel the noise." 
 
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