Italian MotoGP great Valentino Rossi has broken his right leg in a training accident and will undergo surgery as soon as possible, his Yamaha team said on Thursday.
The accident, while riding an off-road enduro bike in eastern Italy, looks set to end the 38-year-old’s title chances for another year.
Yamaha said in a statement that Rossi had been taken to hospital in Urbino, where he was diagnosed with displaced fractures of the tibia and fibula of his right leg.
A further medical bulletin will be issued on Friday.
The rider is currently fourth in the overall MotoGP standings and 26 points behind leading compatriot Andrea Dovizioso.
The next race is at Misano on Italy’s Adriatic coast on Sept. 10.
Rossi also broke his right leg in practice for the Italian Grand Prix in 2010. The rider returned to MotoGP after an absence of six weeks that time.
“I’ve heard from him, his leg really hurts and Valentino is not optimistic… it’s a mess,” the ANSA news agency had quoted Rossi’s father Graziano as saying earlier.
Rossi made motorcycling history in June when he won the Dutch MotoGP round at Assen, a victory that came 20 years and 313 days after the nine times world champion’s first in what was then the 125cc category.
No other rider has been a winner across all classes for a longer period of time.
The Italian has 115 grand prix wins across all classes, second only to compatriot Giacomo Agostini’s 122 victories between 1964 and 1977.