Former 500cc champion Kevin Schwantz believes that injured MotoGP superstar Valentino Rossi will be in no rush to make a return to championship action.
Schwantz, world champ in 1993, thinks that Rossi has no chance of winning this year's title and that will affect his thinking about when to return.
"I think he'll take his time coming back," said Schwantz. "He's not in any rush. The championship has pretty much been decided, even though we're only in the fourth race.
"Maybe it's his first big injury, but I know how much he misses being here. He'll be back, just as soon as he can get fit. But it's probably going to take him four or five months to come back from this, it's a pretty serious break, being exposed... it's a bit nasty."
In terms of this year's title race, Schwantz thinks Rossi's absence will add another dimension to the battle.
"I think it's kinda changed everybodys outlook on it," he said. "They had to really race Valentino to win this championship, and now with Jorge being the guy at the front, I think both Stoner an Pedrosa are going to up their game, plus Dovizioso, Spies, Hayden – all of 'em are in with a shot now. Lorenzo was really focused on Valentino but now he's maybe a little distracted."
Since the crash, the Italian media has intensified its speculation that Rossi will now turn his attention to racing on four wheels in Formula 1.