MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi deliberately avoided the use of pain killers, in order to test his recent shoulder injury during Friday practice at Jerez.
The 2010 title leader, after victory in round one at Qatar, stretched ligaments in his shoulder during a motocross accident two weeks' ago.
Rossi's primary concern on Friday was thus to find out how strong he felt on the bike and how hard he was able to push. In total, the 31-year-old was able to ride for 25 laps and set the fifth fastest lap time, 0.628s off Casey Stoner (Ducati).
The Fiat Yamaha star now hopes that improvements to his set-up, a bit more rear grip and possibly some pain management will put him closer to the front on Saturday.
“The shoulder is a bit sore, especially in the two or three harder braking areas, but the most important thing is that I can ride!” said Rossi. “Of course this pain makes it more difficult but I was able to do 25 laps today without painkillers, and the pain didn't get any worse as the session went on.
“I didn't take any painkillers because I wanted to understand the level and so tomorrow and Sunday we will consider something for the pain.
“Today we used two different settings and now we will decide which direction to go in for the rest of the weekend. We need to find a bit more rear grip in order to be more competitive, because at this moment this is slowing us down more than the shoulder,” he concluded.
Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was second fastest.