Rizla Suzuki has confirmed that Alvaro Bautista will try and return to MotoGP action in this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix, just 42 days after breaking his left femur in practice for round one of the season in Qatar.
Bautista has been undergoing intensive physiotherapy to reach a sufficient level of fitness to be able to take to the track on Friday - but must first pass a full medical.
If Bautista is unable to ride, or not sufficiently competitive, Suzuki test rider Nobuatsu Aoki will be on stand-by to take over - but Bautista's clear target is to compete in the grand prix.
“I have been working very hard to be back in time for Estoril and I believe I will be able to take part in the race,” he said. “I know it will be difficult, but I think the sooner I can get on the bike the more it will aid my total recovery and help my way to full fitness.
“I have travelled over 4,500km with many journeys to the hyperbaric chamber in Madrid to assist with my healing - I have been there so many times I could close my eyes and go without problems!
“I have now finished the rehabilitation phase and started on the physical preparation; this involves a lot of swimming, cycling and other fitness programmes to build up the strength so I can ride again.
“It is going to be really tough, but I am totally focused on being on the GSV-R in Portugal, it's all I can think about at the moment and that is my first goal. After that we'll see what happens and take everything one step at a time.”
The Spaniard is Suzuki's only MotoGP rider this year and John Hopkins, who replaced Bautista for round two at Jerez and finished tenth in the wet race, is unavailable this weekend due to BSB commitments.
It's a difficult situation for Suzuki and Bautista, but Suzuki legend Kevin Schwantz recently advised against Bautista trying to make an early comeback.