Ben Spies says he is in much better physical condition going into the Valencia Grand Prix, but admitted that the mental challenge of racing on in the wake of Marco Simoncelli's death would be as hard as any injury.
Yamaha rider Spies suffered concussion and rib injuries in a heavy crash at Phillip Island, forcing him to sit out the Australian Grand Prix. He tried to compete in Malaysia, but had to withdraw after qualifying due to his discomfort. But Spies says he will be back to full fitness at Valencia this weekend.
"I'm a lot better," he said. "I needed a rest, the one in Australia was pretty big."
He added that his primary concern now was not his fitness, but getting through what would be a weekend of mourning for Simoncelli.
"Right now, my condition is the least of my worries," Spies said. "I just want to get through this last race and do the best I can for Yamaha, see everybody and move on to the test.
"For all the riders, it's not physical, it's mental. Nobody's 100 percent right now, we just need to be strong and do the best we can this weekend and get it done."
Spies will be paired with Katsuyuki Nakasuga at Yamaha again this weekend as his regular teammate Jorge Lorenzo has pulled out of Valencia due to the hand injuries he sustained in his Phillip Island warm-up crash, which ultimately ended his season.