When Valentino Rossi takes to the starting grid of Sunday's German Grand
Prix, he'll be doing so with partially healed fractures to both the
tibia and fibula in his right leg. Here's how Dainese modified his boots
and leathers to accommodate the bandages and protect the leg from
As you can see by the riding shots in the gallery above, the injury and the modified safety gear are barely limiting Rossi's riding ability. In fact, at the Sachsenring practice today he was 7th fastest, just behind his teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
Most of Rossi's Dainese D-Air suit will be unmodified with the exception of the legs. Thinner carbon/kevlar armor has been fitted in place of the usual plastic items in the shins and a similar piece has been fitted to the rear of the leg to better protect the fibula. Rossi dictated that this modification was made to both legs of the suit to increase overall protection from injury. The circumference of the legs has been increased to fit the new protection and the bandages over the injury (there's no word on whether this is a hard cast or soft Ace-style bandages/braces).
The size of the right boot cuff has been increased as well, while an additional opening has been added to ease fitment.
Hopefully this will be enough not only to enable Rossi to ride his M1 unencumbered, but also to add protection against further injury should he suffer another crash. Remember, Rossi isn't just racing with a broken leg, he's also got torn ligaments in his shoulder from a dirt bike accident.