VALENTINO Rossi is to attempt a MotoGP comeback at this weekend's Aragon Grand Prix, 22 days after breaking his right tibia and fibula.
The nine-time world champion, who suffered the injury in an enduro training accident, has already missed his home Misano round and wasn't expected back until Motegi on October 15.
Movistar Yamaha had announced a replacement, Michael van der Mark, for Aragon - but Rossi signalled his intentions for an early return with a surprise test on an R1 superbike at Misano on Monday afternoon.
That outing was cut short by bad weather, prompting Rossi to complete 20 further superbike laps on Tuesday, with the team reporting 'an improved feeling and a more positive impression compared to yesterday'.
Rosse then underwent a medical examination on Wednesday, before deciding to ride at Aragon. He will still need to pass a medical at the circuit.
He said: "Fortunately, yesterday I had a good test with my YZF-R1M in Misano. I tried also the day before, but the rain stopped me after a few laps. Yesterday I managed to complete 20 laps and find the answers I was looking for.
"Eventually, the test was positive and I want to say thanks to Dr. Lucidi and his staff, who helped me find the best solutions to feel the least amount of pain possible in my leg when I'm riding.
"Obviously at the end of the test I was in a little bit of pain, but this morning I went to Dr. Pascarella for a medical check, and it came out with a positive result. At the end I decided I will leave for Aragón and will try to ride my M1 this weekend.
"If I will be declared fit to ride, I'll have the real answer after FP1, because riding the M1 will be a much bigger challenge. We'll see. See you in Aragon!"
Van der Mark remains on standby.
Team director Massimo Meregalli said: "It remains to be seen if Valentino feels he can complete the entire race weekend, which is very demanding, especially at a circuit like MotorLand Aragón, with big elevation changes.
"Should Vale feel that his injury is causing him too much discomfort, then Michael van der Mark will step in as the replacement rider.
"If that is the case, the team will put in maximal effort to help him adapt to the YZR-M1 as quick as possible. He didn't get the opportunity to test the bike before, so it would be a very exciting but also interesting weekend for him."
Team-mate Maverick Vinales is third, 26 points ahead of the Italian.
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