Le Mans polesitter Valentino Rossi has revealed that he still fears his injured shoulder will hamper his pace in tomorrow's French Grand Prix.
The reigning MotoGP champion suffered the injury in a Motocross crash last month, but with the postponement of the Japanese race at Motegi, he hoped it would be fully healed during the break between grands prix. However he was in pain during the Spanish GP at Jerez three weeks ago, and admitted that he was still not completely fit in France this weekend.
"For tomorrow I'm quite worried about my shoulder, because after 10-15 laps, I start to lose some power," Rossi said. "But I have to not give up, and try to stay fast to the end."
He is confident that his Yamaha has the speed to win tomorrow even though he might be struggling physically.
"I feel confident with the bike and we did a good job. For race pace we are not so bad," said Rossi. "In the end pole position is always a great, great pleasure. When I saw 1m33.4s on my dashboard, I said, 'Good job, this is a good lap time,' and it was enough for pole position."
Rossi added that the pleasant weather at Le Mans – a track that often sees rain for its MotoGP events – had helped his cause as he had been enjoyed plenty of dry track time to fine-tune his setup.
"I'm so happy about these weather conditions here at Le Mans, like everybody I think," he said. "We started from Friday with good settings and we were able to work during all of practice because it was always good weather."