Dani Pedrosa is quietly confident that he will participate in the Portuguese Grand Prix having now missed the last three rounds due to a shoulder injury.
The Repsol Honda rider made the trip to Phillip Island last time out, having already been forced to skip the Motegi and Sepang races, but while he participated in qualification he would go on to withdraw from the event.
Putting his second position in the overall standings under threat from the in-form Casey Stoner, Pedrosa is pleased to have had two further weeks to recover from his ailments.
As such, the Spaniard is hopeful the extra recovery time will enable him to put in a more convincing effort at Estoril, though he admits he needs to wait until practice to make a definitive decision.
“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,” he said. “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. I went to visit the doctor last Tuesday to have the stitches removed, and the scar is fine.
“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.
“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. So, I'm looking forward to getting there with my team and seeing how I feel.”