Dani Pedrosa is confident that he will be fit to race at Estoril this weekend, having had to pull out of the recent Australian Grand Prix due to pain from his broken collarbone.
The injury was sustained in a practice crash at Motegi at the start of the month. Pedrosa immediately flew back to Spain for surgery, and after missing the Japanese and Malaysian GPs, he returned to the track at Phillip Island. But having been off the pace and in discomfort during practice and qualifying, he decided to withdraw before race day.
The Spaniard believes the extra two weeks of healing time plus the characteristics of this weekend's venue mean that he will have no such problems at Estoril.
"We get back on track this weekend at Estoril and, in principle, the situation should be much better than it was for me in Australia," said Pedrosa. "The Estoril circuit is not as demanding as Phillip Island and this should help me to feel more comfortable on the bike.
"Plus, I've had some more time to recover which should help, too. This kind of injury needs time to heal and with two more weeks having passed I'm really looking forward to seeing how much the shoulder has improved. Also, I think it can be positive for me that there will be two practice sessions on Friday again, as we had in Aragon.
"In terms of the track layout, Estoril has some hard braking areas and it's bumpy, but the fact that it has more right-hand corners than left can be good for us."
He added that while he felt his recovery had made major progress, he could not be totally certain that he was ready to race until he got on track at Estoril.
"I went to visit the doctor last Tuesday to have the stitches removed, and the scar is fine," said Pedrosa. "I've been doing some more rehabilitation on the muscles and I have some more strength, but I will not be able to fully judge how much difference there is until I get on the bike on Friday morning."