After first sending a press release that Rossi would make an announcement after his testing session today, Fiat-Yamaha has issued another statement saying that Rossi won’t make a decision on this weekend’s race until he arrives at Sachsenring on Wednesday. Heightening the anticipation of his return, Rossi has seemingly delayed making a decision to race, and wants to wait another two days before making it public what his intentions are for the weekend.
We assume this also means that we won’t hear an announcement from Rossi or Ducati about the 2011 season until the German GP as well. As such, Sachsenring will be an interesting round as both Rossi and Wataru Yoshikawa will have to prepare to race on Sunday, but also there will be the added fervor of the impending Rossi/Ducati announcement.
Valentino Rossi completed 46 laps (fitting, ehh?), over multiple sessions, at Brno today. Rossi used a Yamaha YZF-R1 that was provided by the Yamaha World Superbike Team, and much to Crutchlow and Toseland’s dismay, Rossi took the WSBK R1 around Brno with a best time of 1’59.135, which is quicker than both Yamaha WSBK riders did in last weekend’s races.
Many outlets are comparing this time to race pace at Brno, but a more analogus comparison would be to the qualifying times from this weekend (Editor’s Note: Lap records are only counted during race conditions). Compared to the Superpole pace, Rossi was about a second off Cal Crutchlow’s pole setting pace of 1′58.018, while being nearly half a second faster than Toseland’s 1′59.699. Rossi was rumored to be on Toseland’s YZF-R1 today.
“Today was good, I felt better than in Misano but I still feel quite tired after a few laps and a race will be a much bigger question,” said Rossi. “We haven’t made the final decision yet, I need to have some more x-rays on Wednesday, and then my doctors and I will consider whether I can ride at Sachsenring. Once I’d understood my physical condition today, I had great fun riding the R1 and even did some work on the settings! I want to say a big thank you to the WSB Team for staying on here another day and making this test possible for me.”
Yamaha awaits Valentino’s final personal decision as to when he feels ready to ride again, and the team’s priority is a full recovery to fitness for Valentino rather than a quick comeback. If Valentino decides to ride in Germany, he will need final approval from the FIM Chief Medical Officer before he can participate in a Grand Prix.