Chris Vermeulen could only finish 16th in today's MotoGP free practice session at Estoril while suffering from a back injury.
The Australian picked up the injury while at home during the break between the Italian and Portuguese races and said he found it difficult to ride his Suzuki early on today.
"It was a bit difficult in the beginning because I hurt my back in Australia about a week ago and it didn't make things very comfortable on the bike," said Vermeulen. "It was tough to move around at first, but after a couple of changes to the settings things became a lot easier."
Vermeulen is hopeful that both he and team-mate Loris Capirossi can move forward tomorrow after the Italian could only manage 12th today on the other works Suzuki.
"I am sure if I can get a bit fitter for tomorrow, we will be able to qualify well, because the bike feels as if it is in really good shape," he added.