Pramac Ducati riders Loris Capirossi and Randy de Puniet, both of whom have undergone medical procedures during the lengthened break since Jerez, will have a better chance if this weekend's Portuguese MotoGP is wet.
That not because of their physical condition - with factory riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden both competitive in the wet Jerez round earlier this month, Pramac technical director Fabiano Sterlacchini unsurprisingly believes the Desmosedici is simply more competitive relative to its rivals on a wet track.
“The rain could shuffle the cards... I think our bike is best suited with a wet track,” he said.
And with a 60% chance of rain being forecast for all three days, Sterlacchini could well get his wish.
Capirossi, who has received treatment for an inflamed right shoulder since Jerez, expects to be 90% fit.
“I like the Estoril circuit, although I've never done a great deal,” he admitted. “This week I have been training twice a day, I'm at 90% of my full physical condition. Riding in the wet will not be easy, but paradoxically the bike is more competitive in the wet. I am confident we will be able to forget the first two races.”
Capirossi scored Pramac's only points of the year so far with eleventh at Jerez, while de Puniet - who recently had a screw removed from his left knee - is yet to reach the chequered flag.
“There is a great desire to start again,” said the Frenchman. “Physically I'm fine, and I hope that the bike is ready for Estoril. I know that Ducati can give us many satisfactions if we work well. All that remains is to prove it. The weather? It may rain, but it does not matter to me.”