ROME Italian MotoGP great Valentino Rossi, who was injured in a motocross accident last week, is still in pain and will have to pass a medical on Thursday before he can compete at his home race at Mugello this weekend.
The 38-year-old said in a Yamaha team statement on Wednesday that "the pain in the abdomen and in the chest is still severe.
"Fortunately, my condition is improving day by day and this allows me to think a bit more positively about the Mugello weekend," added the Italian, who spent a night in hospital after the fall in eastern Italy.
Rossi, a nine times world champion across all categories, said he was doing all he could to be ready in time.
"It will not be easy but I still have a few days to continue the treatment," he added. "If all is well, I will ride my YZR-M1 on Friday to really understand my condition. I will do my best to be on track Sunday."
The Italian is third in the championship, 23 points behind his Spanish team mate and overall leader Maverick Vinales after five races.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Hugh Lawson)