Valentino Rossi has again played down hopes of victory in Sunday’s Czech Republic MotoGP race in Brno.
The 31-year-old though did confirm on the eve of the 10th race of the campaign today that an announcement on his future will be revealed after Sunday’s Brno encounter.
The nine-times world champion will quit Yamaha and join Ducati in a big money transfer exclusively revealed by MCN at the end of June.
Rossi, who is still recovering a compound fracture of his right tibia he suffered in Mugello at the beginning of June, said: “The announcement about 2011 will arrive on Sunday after the race.”
Texan Ben Spies, who will be promoted from the satellite Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad, will take Rossi’s place in the factory Yamaha squad.
After the short summer break in which Rossi split his time between Ibiza and Tavullia, he said he was still short of full fitness heading into the Brno clash.
He underwent further checks on the right shoulder he damaged in a motocross training accident in April and his leg in Italy on Tuesday and he told MCN: “The doctors say I’m about 60 to 65 per cent with the leg and shoulder.
"The improvements now are a lot more difficult and much slower. But they are constantly better. I can work more on my shoulder. I have pain and I can gain more muscle and if you look at the other one they are similar.
"I can work more at the gym so I expect some pain but better control. The X-ray on the leg was positive and I had no damage to the screw after Sachsenring and Laguna Seca and the tibia is recovering well and it is perfectly straight.
"I want to arrive at 100 per cent in Misano but for me that is too early. Maybe I will be fit for Motegi, Sepang and Phillip Island in October.”
Rossi though has once again downplayed his hopes of adding to his victory in the season’s opening race in Qatar back in April.
His amazing recovery from the broken right leg continued during last month’s American MotoGP clash at Laguna Seca when he claimed a brilliant third place.
But he told MCN: “Looking at the race in Laguna on TV I didn’t ride like normal. I’m not relaxed on the bike and always tight. I need time.
"For me the important thing this weekend is to try and make better than Laguna in terms of trying to go on the podium, stay more close to the top but I’m not ready to win. And also try to make good in the practice and start on the front row.
"It is a long season and my target is to try and come back at the top and fight for the victory before the end of the season.”