MADRID - Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi said Thursday he fully expected to feel the pain as he returns to action at the Aragon Grand Prix, just 21 days after suffering a double leg fracture.
The 38-year-old Italian successfully completed a mandatory medical examination at the MotorLand Aragon circuit and was given the go-ahead to take part in free practice on Friday.
"I've worked a lot to have good power and less pain. I think it's important to come back on the bike as quickly as possible and not to spend another race at home," Yamaha rider Rossi told a news conference.
Rossi underwent surgery on September 1, a day after a crash in training, discharging himself from hospital the following day.
He completed 20 laps around the Misano circuit on Tuesday before heading to Aragon for further tests.
Rossi missed the San Marino Grand Prix because of the leg break, but remains fourth in the world championship standings, 42 points behind world champion Marc Marquez of Spain and Italy's Andrea Dovizioso with five rounds to go.
"I need to understand the feeling with the MotoGP bike because it's a bit different. In general I feel quite good, not too much pain and getting back there every day," he added.
Rossi won the Dutch MotoGP in Assen in June to reignite his dream of a 10th world title with the final race of the season finishing on November 12 in Valencia.
He said he had originally expected to return at Motegi in Japan on October 15 rather than Aragon.
"We'll wait for Friday and try and understand if it's possible to ride the bike at a good level. This race is also really important to try and improve for the next three races and getting back at a good level earlier.
"We need to understand what's happening with the leg from Friday to Sunday. Every time it's different. It depends on the type of fracture, and I was lucky because I had a very good doctor for the operation. At first my mind was on Motegi but day by day I've improved a lot."