Despite finishing a painful 17th and last in Friday free practice at Le Mans, Rizla Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista's - who broke his collarbone just one week ago on a motocross bike - isn't yet ready to throw in the towel.
Rizla Suzuki's MotoGP rookie rode without pain-killers for 19 laps on Friday and - although his condition is worst than he had hoped - the Spaniard insist he will try again tomorrow before making a final decision about whether to race.
“I thought that I would feel better today than I do,” he said. “I have worked very hard this week to be fit and I was confident that I would be able to ride the bike. It was very difficult though, because after two or three laps I started to lose energy and my left arm was hurting a lot and I couldn't ride like I wanted to.
“Tomorrow I will have a pain-killing injection and hopefully the pain will be less. I will then make a decision if I continue with the weekend, today the maximum I felt I could do was five laps and the race is 28, so I still have a long way to go. I will try with the injection and see if things improve.”
“Alvaro chose to ride today with no pain-killers and no injection, to assess exactly where he was at and he certainly lost his sun-tan over the course of the session!” said team manager Paul Denning.
“Motorcycle racers are a tough breed, but there comes a point when pain and lack of strength will win the day. Hopefully with some physiotherapy tonight and the injection in the morning, we'll be in a better position to understand if a full race distance on Sunday is possible."
Team-mate Loris Capirossi was eleventh fastest.