Marco Melandri says he is close to returning to full fitness after taking advantage of the short break from MotoGP competition between the Barcelona and Sachsenring rounds.

Melandri raced with an injured shoulder in Spain, picked up in an accident at Assen just a week earlier, but while he went on to finish in a satisfactory ninth position he admitted he 'suffered' in the three days immediately after the race.

Despite this, Melandri is feeling in good condition heading to Germany, even if he is nervous about the anti-clockwise nature of the layout, one that will he expects will affect his shoulder.

"After the satisfaction of finishing the race in ninth place at Barcelona I went through the worst three days since suffering my injury," he said. "I have been in so much pain and it has made me realise that the decision not to get back on the bike immediately at Assen was the right one because it would have seriously hindered my recovery.

"Now I am feeling better and I go to Sachsenring feeling confident and hopeful of improving on that ninth place from Barcelona and getting back to the positions near the front, where I was running before the injury. I like the track - there isn?t a lot of braking so that is a good thing for my current condition, although on the other hand there are a lot of left-handers.

"It is still one of my favourite circuits, where I have several victories and should have one more from the 125cc race in ?98, when I crashed out of the lead. I won the following year and also took my first 250 win there too. In MotoGP in 2006 I had a great race with Rossi, Hayden and Pedrosa, finishing second just a few thousandths of a second behind Valentino."