Florence: Italian motorcycling phenomenon Valentino Rossi admitted on Sunday he had been afraid of how serious his injury was after crashing in Saturday’s practice session for the Italian MotoGp.
However, the 31-year-old nine-time world champion said in his first interview since undergoing an operation on his broken right leg - effectively ruling him out for the rest of the season - that he was more reassured about it now.
“The operation went well, Doctor Roberto Buzzi has been exceptional and they (the hospital staff) are treating me like I’m part of the family,” he told motogp.com.
“I have had a pin inserted into my leg and tomorrow (Monday) they will close and stitch the wound. Then we will wait and begin a good rehabilitation programme,” added Rossi, who received loads of messages of support including one from his Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo calling him a ‘legend’.
Rossi conceded that watching the crash again on a replay had not been a nice experience.
“They were difficult moments because it was a bad crash and a bad injury,” said Rossi, who had before Sunday never missed a race in his career at Mugello and won there nine times in 14 races.
“I’ve watched the accident again and to see how my ankle looked was not a good feeling. There were a few moments of fear, but now I’m doing well.”
However, the irrepressible Rossi - the last Honda rider to triumph at Mugello in 2003 before Dani Pedrosa won there on Sunday - couldn’t restrain himself from seeing the funny side of matters.
“Now I can say my morale is reasonably high because I’ve discovered I have a great rapport with morphine!”