Valentino Rossi is relieved to have been granted a three-week break between the first and second MotoGP races of the year, to allow his injured shoulder more time to recover.
The postponement of the Motegi race until October, due to the travel crises caused by the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano, gave the world champion an extra weekend to get over the injury he sustained falling off a motocross bike. He is confident that he will be close to full strength this weekend at Jerez.
"It was a pity not to go to Japan, but we will go in October now and for me it was quite lucky to have this extra week," said Rossi. "I didn't hurt myself badly in the motocross fall but my shoulder was quite sore so it was good to give it more time to recover. I don't know yet how much it will affect me this weekend, I hope not too much.
"The win in Qatar was fantastic, but we saw there that we are lacking in some areas compared to our rivals so we have work to do. I love to race at Jerez, the atmosphere is amazing and I have fantastic fans in Spain. Last year I had a great win and I hope we can challenge again this time."
Rossi is leading the standings after one round, ahead of Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo and Honda's Andrea Dovizioso.