Valentino Rossi believes it could be up to two months before he is back to full fitness following his winter shoulder surgery.
Although the Italian has been able to ride at the start of the MotoGP season, he remains in discomfort from the work to fix the injury he sustained in a Motocross crash almost a year ago.
"The problem is under braking and on entry on the right," Rossi explained after practice in Qatar this evening. "In this area I cannot push. If I brake more, I don't have enough power, I slide on the bike and I upset all the settings. I need another one or two months to be fit."
Although he was suffering after today's two practice sessions, he is optimistic that the rest of the weekend will be easier, even if he still suspects he could fade late in the race.
"Especially I'm worried for 22 laps, because after 15 I start to lose some power and it becomes harder," said Rossi. "But it's still Friday. The race is Sunday – tomorrow is just one practice, so maybe I have time to recover."