Valentino Rossi was troubled to find that his lingering shoulder injury held him back again in tonight's final winter MotoGP test.
The former MotoGP champion is still recovering after winter surgery on the problem, which started when he had a motocross crash last April, and hampered him throughout the rest of the 2010 campaign, ultimately proving more disruptive than the broken leg he sustained at Mugello.
Rossi was only 13th this evening in Qatar, and though he crashed for the second day in a row, he felt the shoulder had been the main problem.
"I'd say that today was pretty challenging: the weather conditions were much tougher than yesterday, and I had another crash when I slipped on a white line," he said. "Fortunately, I just fell over on the ground – it was nothing serious. The real problem was that at about an hour and a half from the finish, I started to lose strength in my shoulder, and I just couldn't push anymore. It's a shame, because I had just done my best time, and I may have been able to drop it a little more from there."
The Italian said the shoulder pain had prevented him from going for a qualifying-style run.
"We didn't even mount the two soft tires that we had," Rossi explained. "I started on a long run, but I stopped because I was losing tenths lap after lap."
He remains confident that Ducati is in better shape than winter results have suggested, though his shoulder problem continues to concern him.
"Let's say that we're not as far back as it looks, although we still have a lot of work to do, regarding both the bike and myself, because the shoulder is evidently not yet able to bear two such intense days of testing," said Rossi. "Between now and Thursday, I'll do some light exercise and have it massaged, and then we'll see."