Valentino Rossi says he has not yet made a definite decision about whether to have surgery on his injured shoulder this winter, but admitted that he is still in a great deal of pain.
Although the MotoGP champion has made a good recovery from the broken leg he sustained at Mugello, he continues to be hampered by the shoulder injury he suffered in a Motocross accident in April. There were reports earlier this week that he was certain to have surgery following the season, after television cameras appeared to pick up a conversation to this effect between Rossi and Giacomo Agostini. But Rossi insists he is still open-minded about his surgery plans and wants to see how his condition changes over the remaining races.
"Unfortunately, the situation of the shoulder is not very positive," he said. "One month ago we were very positive about not having to do the surgery, but, unfortunately, I have pain and after the race at Misano, I spent two or three days with a lot of pain.
"I'm not in a hurry, because now I have to do the next six races and that will be the test for understanding if I have to do the surgery over the winter or not."
Rossi has yet to win a race since returning from his injury layoff, and said for the time being his aim is simply to get on terms with current pacesetters Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.
"My target is to try to stay with Jorge and Dani, who now do a great job at every track in every condition," said the Italian. "At Misano, at the end of the race, I was doing good lap times and now I have to continue like this and try to fight with those two guys."