Valentino Rossi believes a return to MotoGP for the Brno round in August is now realistic after a positive start to his recovery from his broken leg.
The world champion has been sidelined since he suffered the injury in practice for his home race at Mugello three weeks ago. If he is successful in his ambition to return for the Czech Grand Prix, Rossi will have missed six races in total.
"Three weeks have passed since the accident and two since I was discharged from hospital, and I am very happy about how my recuperation is progressing," said Rossi. "I am feeling a lot better and I'm starting to live a semi-normal life again, although for a completely 'normal' life I will have to wait until I'm back on my bike.
"I am walking with crutches and since a few days I've been able to put my foot to the floor. Honestly, I didn't expect to feel this good just a few weeks after the incident, and I mean both physically and in my spirit.
"The rehabilitation is continuing as usual, both sitting in the hyperbaric chamber and with some exercises in the gym. Unfortunately my shoulder is still giving me some pain but I am working on the muscles to reduce the pain a bit. If the rehabilitation proceeds without trouble and if everything continues in this way, then my objective is to return at the Czech Grand Prix in Brno."
Yamaha has announced that it will promote test rider Wataru Yoshikawa to the race team for Catalunya, the Sachsenring and Laguna Seca in Rossi's absence.