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Rossi targets Mugello return

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MILAN, Italy – MotoGP star Valentino Rossi says he is fighting to be fit in time for this weekend's world championship race at Mugello after injuries sustained in a training accident.

Rossi, known on the circuit as 'The Doctor', was discharged from a Rimini hospital last weekend after treatment for chest and stomach injuries suffered while he was training in motocross.

Desperate to get back into contention after crashing out of the French Grand Prix at Le Mans two weeks ago and dropping to third in the standings, the 38-year-old star said he remains optimistic but won't fully know if and when he trains on the track on Friday.

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Valentino Rossi hopes to return this weekend. Photo: EPA/Jose Manuel Vidal

"It won't be easy to be there," Rossi said on Wednesday in a website report on Gazzetta dello Sport. "Unfortunately I hurt myself while training in motocross, the pain in my abdomen and chest is still intense.

"Fortunately I'm getting better by the day and that makes me optimistic for the end of the week at Mugello. I want to be there whatever it takes, and I'm fighting to be fit. It won't be easy, but I still have a few days ahead of me to recover.

"If I get the okay on Thursday, on Friday I will take part in the free training session to get a clearer idea of my condition. One thing is sure, I will do my best to be there."

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