The ash cloud that postponed last weekend's Japanese MotoGP also gave Valentino Rossi vital extra time to recover from his motocross accident ahead of this weekend's Jerez round.

Rossi, the reigning seven time MotoGP champion and winner of round one in Qatar, damaged his shoulder muscles during a training fall shortly after Losail, but hopes to be in good enough shape to put up a fight in Jerez.

"Of course it was a pity not to go to Japan, Yamaha's home race, but we will go in October now and for me it was quite lucky to have this extra week," confirmed Rossi.

"I didn't hurt myself badly in the motocross fall but my shoulder was quite sore so it was good to give it more time to recover. I don't know yet how much it will affect me this weekend, I hope not too much."

Rossi's hard fought Qatar victory came after Ducati's Casey Stoner crashed from the lead - and despite the Italian's M1 suffering a clear top speed disadvantage.

"The win in Qatar was fantastic but we saw there that we are lacking in some areas compared to our rivals so we have work to do," he said.

Fortunately, unlike Losail, Jerez doesn't have a 1km home straight and Rossi will be out to improve on his impressive record at the track.

The Italian superstar has taken seven wins in all classes, including last year, when he overhauled local star Dani Pedrosa to take his first win of the season

"I love to race at Jerez, the atmosphere is amazing and I have fantastic fans in Spain. Last year I had a great win and I hope we can challenge again this time," declared The Doctor.

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