MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi, recently bruised after falling from a motocross bike during a training exercise in Italy, is just thankful that Lady Luck has smiled on him.
The 31-year-old Rossi had been preparing in Pesaro ahead of the scheduled Japanese Grand Prix when he took the tumble.
The Italian rider, who won the first MotoGP race of the season in Qatar just a week earlier, was sent for X-rays after expressing discomfort in his back.
But he was cleared to compete at Japan’s Motegi circuit but other developments in recent days provided him with a longer period to recover.
The MotoGP round at Motegi had been set for last weekend but it was postponed because of ongoing global travel disruption caused by the Icelandic volcanic eruption last week.
The Japanese race at Motegi will now be run in October. The next round is set for Jerez, in Spain, this weekend.
Rossi (Yamaha) currently leads the MotoGP leader board after recording his 104th victory in Qatar, a race which saw arch-rival Casey Stoner fall from his bike while leading on lap five.
Rossi, who has won nine world championships during his 14 years in the sport, went on to finish the race a second clear of his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.
Second-placed Lorenzo finished runner up to Rossi in last season’s MotoGP championship, more than 40 points behind the seven-time MotoGP champion.
“Of course it was a pity not to go to Japan, Yamaha’s home race, but we will go in October now and for me it was quite lucky to have this extra week,” said Rossi.
“I didn’t hurt myself badly in the motocross fall but my shoulder was quite sore so it was good to give it more time to recover. I don’t know yet how much it will affect me this weekend, I hope not too much.”
“I love to race at Jerez, the atmosphere is amazing and I have fantastic fans in Spain. Last year I had a great win and I hope we can challenge again this time,” said Rossi.