Alvaro Bautista is confident that he will be able to show his true capability in the final races of his MotoGP rookie season, as he believes he has now made up for the time lost to injury at the start of the year.
Shoulder damage from a Motocross crash caused Bautista to miss the French Grand Prix and hampered his performances in many early-season races. But the Suzuki rider has finished eighth in the last two races, and believes he is now properly up to speed at last.
"It's always very difficult when you come to this category, but the injury in the beginning was the problem for me because I lost some races," said Bautista, whose best result so far is fifth at Silverstone. Now we are working very hard and we are recovering the time lost.
"I feel very confident for the next races. I feel that I can fight for positions like sixth."
Bautista is representing Suzuki alone this weekend as teammate Loris Capirossi recovers from a hand injury sustained in a first corner collision with Nicky Hayden at Misano.
Suzuki has endured an extremely tough season and been the slowest of the factory teams all year, but Bautista believes it is moving forward.
"Suzuki is improving the bike very well," said the Spaniard. "So, I hope for these six races we can continue improving. We are closing the distance to the fast riders in the category. We now have a new frame that I used at Indianapolis and it looks like it's better. Suzuki's working very hard for the next races."