Sunday, July 18, 2010
Remember our prediction that Rossi might be out for the rest of the season? Yeah, um, scratch all that
Not only did Valentino Rossi not sit out the rest of the season after the broken leg he suffered several weeks ago, he returned ahead of schedule to take fourth place at the Sachsenring this weekend. The deity of motorcycle road racing duked it out fiercely for most of the second half of the race with a determined Casey Stoner, who knocked Rossi off the podium in the final corner of the final lap of the race. Dani Pedrosa took first, followed by Rossi's teammate Jorge Lorenzo in second.
The Superbike Blog is both happy and astonished to see Rossi bounce back so quickly, and looks forward to enjoying the rest of the MotoGP season with Rossi on the grid. This is the kind of grit and determination that separates the champions from the rest of the pack, as Rossi has demonstrated over and over again throughout his career.
A few ofthe interesting post-race quotes from team press releases:
CASEY STONER: "In the first part of the race I didn't have such a good feeling and I was doing everything I could to stay with Dani and Jorge but tenth by tenth they were pulling away from me. So, for the second part of the race we changed to a tyre we'd already used yesterday and I immediately found more grip and was able to run faster lap times. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get past Dovi at the start so the front two opened a gap and by the time I got up to third place they were gone. We saw in the first race that Valentino's pace was a little better than ours and that proved to be the case again in the second race. He was taking big chunks of time out of me and to be honest once he got past I didn't think I'd be able to follow. I tried really hard to stay in there and we had a good battle with a lot of nice passes. I tried one last time at the bottom of the hill, where he tried to close the line on me but I was already there. We touched but it was a good, clean fight and I'm just pleased to come away with a podium. We had hoped to be a little closer to the front here but we're happy with this."
ROSSI: "I didn't expect this! I thought it was maybe possible to make fourth or fifth place but I thought it would be very difficult. In the end I was fourth but I had a great battle with Casey and I was so close to the podium, so this is a fantastic result after missing four races. I need some more kilometres to really recover the feeling and feel completely okay with the bike again, but I think I did a great job and this was a very good comeback, better than we could wish for. I felt a bit of pain in my shoulder but more in the leg when changing direction, but at the end the battle with Casey was such fun that I didn't think about it. Unfortunately though he just got the better of me on the last corner! Thanks to all my team for helping me come back and be competitive like this, we will try to do even better in Laguna."