Valentino Rossi says he is determined not to risk longer-term damage by hurrying back into MotoGP before his broken leg is fully healed. The series champion refused to speculate on when he might return to action after his Mugello practice crash, which left him with the most severe injury of his career so far.
Surgeon Dr. Roberto Buzzi has hinted that Rossi could need the rest of the year to recover, while others have suggested that returning for the Czech Grand Prix, the first race after the summer break, would be the most likely option. But Rossi said he just wanted to focus on the recovery and did not want to set a comeback target.
"It's to be expected that Dr. Buzzi has been very cautious in his prognosis," Rossi said. "I want to heal the injury; that is the only thing I'm interested in. If I miss four races or six races, it doesn't make any difference. The right time to return could be Brno, but it won't necessarily be like this."
He emphasized that with the championship title now all but impossible for him, and with little need to impress teams to earn a 2011 seat, there was no point in him hurrying back into action.
"I know I have a bike for next year and I don't need to rush my return to demonstrate anything," said Rossi. "I could miss just four races but I still wouldn't come back to win the championship. It's better to be careful, finish the rehabilitation in the best way and come back to race for many more years."
The Yamaha rider added that even when he did return he did not believe he would be fully competitive from the outset.
"When I come back I will be in perfect shape, although it won't mean that I can win straight away," Rossi said. "When you return after an enforced break, you not only have to think about the body, but also the mind. I won't be able to come back and win immediately."