Yamaha has confirmed that Valentino Rossi will test a Superbike at Misano today, amid suggestions that the injured world champion could return to MotoGP as early as the next round at the Sachsenring.
Rossi has been sidelined since breaking his leg in practice at Mugello at the start of June. He initially insisted he would not rush his recovery as there was no urgent need to return to the track with his 2010 title chance ended by the injury. A return for the Czech Grand Prix at Brno in August was penciled in, but it now appears he could be back sooner.
"The Italian has made an excellent recovery so far since breaking his leg at Mugello on June 5 and he has decided to proceed with the test ride today in order to better understand his current physical condition," said a Yamaha statement.
"Riding a racing motorcycle will help Valentino and his doctors to plan the next stage of his rehabilitation program in order that he may return to racing as soon as he feels confident to do so.
"The test will take place using a YZF-R1 WSB machine provided by the Yamaha World Superbike team to the Fiat Yamaha team."
News of Rossi's potential early comeback comes amid reports that he is set to end his long relationship with Yamaha at the end of the season and join Ducati for 2011.