Alvaro Bautista will decide on Saturday morning if he is fit enough to continue with the rest of the French Grand Prix weekend.
The Spaniard broke his collarbone in a recent motocross accident, and chose to ride without painkillers today so he could properly assess his condition. He was the slowest of the 17 riders on-track.
"I thought that I would feel better today than I do," Bautista admitted. "I have worked very hard this week to be fit and I was confident that I would be able to ride the bike.
"It was very difficult though, because after two or three laps I started to lose energy and my left arm was hurting a lot and I couldn't ride like I wanted to. Tomorrow I will have a pain-killing injection and hopefully the pain will be less. I will then make a decision if I continue with the weekend, today the maximum I felt I could do was five laps and the race is 28, so I still have a long way to go. I will try with the injection and see if things improve."
Team boss Paul Denning admitted that it might prove too tough for Bautista to race at Le Mans given his condition.
"Alvaro chose to ride today with no pain-killers and no injection, to assess exactly where he was at and he certainly lost his sun-tan over the course of the session..." Denning said. "Motorcycle racers are a tough breed, but there comes a point when pain and lack of strength will win the day. Hopefully with some physiotherapy tonight and the injection in the morning, we'll be in a better position to understand if a full race distance on Sunday is possible."
Suzuki test rider Nobuatsu Aoki is present at Le Mans, having been called up in case Bautista failed yesterday's pre-race fitness test. With Bautista expected to decide whether to persist only after running in morning practice tomorrow, if Aoki is needed he will not try the bike at Le Mans until qualifying.