Marco Melandri's first reaction upon seeing his damaged right hand, suffered during a heavy test crash at Barcelona last Monday, was to begin planning for surgery.
The Hayate rider, who battled rear tyre wear problems on the way to 14th in the Catalan GP, was thrown from his ZX-RR during the closing stages of the post-race test, leaving him with a heavy bang to the head, a cracked bone in his hand and a chipped ankle.
“The fall was weird, during acceleration. I was hurled upwards and took a big slap to the head when I came down,” Melandri wrote on his official website. “I was motionless for a while, then I began to get flashes of memory back and felt very hot.
“I knew straight away that I had hurt my right hand and left ankle, they felt numb but I could move them a little. From past injuries I knew this was a good sign.”
Suzuki team manager Paul Denning was one of the first to reach Melandri.
“Paul Denning arrived a few seconds later and I asked him to put some water on my head because of the heat. Then, when I removed my right glove the fifth metacarpal was swollen in a frightening manner.
“Paul and I looked at each other as if to say: "Shit what now?” In my head I was already thinking: Tomorrow they can operate on me here to Barcelona, on Wednesday I can go home and then I'll have just under two weeks [before Assen].
“While I was in the ambulance to the medical centre I was able to put some weight on the ankle, which was good, but my head felt worse. As I left the ambulance, I felt dizzy and lost balance. It was worrying. I had to lie down for a long time.
“Luckily Dr Costa was still at the track. I wasn't sure at first if I was dreaming when I saw him! The Spanish doctors were good as well.
"Fortunately the swelling in my hand went down and they confirmed everything was not too serious. I've been receiving physiotherapy to be as fit as possible for Assen.”
Melandri, who claimed a stunning second place at Le Mans, will start round seven of the 2009 MotoGP World Championship seventh in the standings, but just four points behind top satellite rider Colin Edwards.