Valentino Rossi says he would like to return to MotoGP for the next race in Germany, but admitted he was still in discomfort during his comeback test at Misano this evening.
Four and a half weeks after sustaining a broken right leg in a practice accident at Mugello, the world champion rode one of Yamaha's World Superbike YZF-R1s in a private testing session today.
He initially completed 11 laps with a best time of 1m41.000s, then lapped in 1m38.200s on a second run an hour later, when he covered 15 laps. The fastest race laps in the recent World Superbike event at the track were in the mid-1m36s region.
Rossi was still in pain from both his leg and the shoulder he damaged in a Motocross accident in April during the test, but said that would not deter him from attempting to be fit for the Sachsenring MotoGP race on 17 July.
"We made this test in order to understand how we must work from here and to see more or less how I can ride the bike," said Rossi. "The test was positive, because I can at least ride, but there is a lot more to a MotoGP race than to a test like this one.
"I had some pain in the ankle, the knee and the shoulder, but above all I lacked strength in the shoulder and a bit of movement in the ankle. I would really like to come back at Sachsenring, but it is still too early to say."
He did not set a firm deadline for when he had to decide whether competing at the Sachsenring would be feasible, but said his hopes depended on how effective his next stage of rehabilitation was.
"We still have 12 days and we must wait and see how much we can improve my condition in the next few days," said Rossi. "I really would like to ride at Sachsenring, but we must wait another week before making a decision."
Yamaha test rider Wataru Yoshikawa stood in for Rossi at Catalunya - Yamaha having stuck with a single bike for Jorge Lorenzo until then - and is pencilled in to ride at the Sachsenring and Laguna Seca as well if Rossi opts to revert to his original plan of returning for Brno.