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Valentino Rossi Breaks Leg, Likely Ending Shot at MotoGP Title

Sitting in fourth place with six rounds to go, the timing for Rossi's injury couldn't be worse.

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A press release from Movistar Yamaha has confirmed nine-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi has fractured the tibia and fibula in his right leg on Thursday. The injury was caused by an accident on an enduro bike while training near his home in Italy.

Rossi received an operation late Thursday night at the Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Ospedali Riuniti in Ancona by Dr. Raffaele Pascarella. The surgery went smoothly, with a locked intramedullary nail being inserted into the large bone in Rossi’s lower leg.

“The surgery went well. This morning, when I woke up, I felt already good. I would like to thank the staff of the Ospedali Riuniti in Ancona, and in particular, Doctor Pascarella who operated on me,” Rossi said in good spirits, according to Motorcycle News. “I’m very sorry for the incident. Now I want to be back on my bike as soon as possible. I will do my best to make it happen!”

While the injury is unfortunate enough on its own, the timing is terrible for Rossi. There are only six rounds left in the 2017 MotoGP championship and Rossi is in fourth place in the overall standings. His chances of winning his 10th title were still alive, but despite being a historically resilient racer, his shot at the title has all but vanished. Unfortunately, “as soon as possible” probably won’t be soon enough in this case.