Alvaro Bautista believes poor qualifying form is masking his and Suzuki's potential at present and is determined to get higher up the grid at this weekend's Indianapolis event.
The Spaniard has only qualified in the top 10 three times this year, with best starts of ninth at Catalunya and Silverstone. But his race pace has generally been better and he finished fifth in Britain and seventh in Germany.
"We have certainly made some big steps with the GSV-R over the last few races, but we still need to work on things at Indianapolis," said Bautista. "We need find out what the true potential of the bike is and I need to improve my qualifying session performance.
"It is difficult to see if we can compete with the guys at the front if I am starting at the back of the grid and I have to use so much time and energy to get up to them. These are things that we are determined to do and if we are successful in them then who knows what the bike and the team are capable of producing."
Bautista is convinced that the Suzuki is now competitive enough to get solidly among the "best of the rest" group behind the victory contenders.
"I finished eighth at Indianapolis last year and I know we can do better than that now with the package we have," he said. "I will be pushing right from the start and trying to make all the hard work we've done in recent races give us a good end result in America."