A strong performance for Alvaro Bautista in this weekend's Japanese MotoGP would further bolster his chances of a 2013 Gresini Honda contract.
Bautista's ride is the only RCV, or indeed manufacturer seat, yet to be officially decided - but with Jonathan Rea remaining in World Superbike, and Scott Redding looking likely to stay in Moto2, the Spaniard is short of opposition.
Former Suzuki rider Bautista has claimed his first pole and podium with Gresini this season and is equal sixth in the championship with Ducati's Valentino Rossi.
The former world champion is hoping to finally get the chance to exploit the latest Showa suspension parts as he seeks to impress the HRC bosses this weekend.
“Aragon was something of a difficult weekend thanks largely to the mixed weather. We were never able to work as we wanted to during practice with the new material that Showa brought for us,” said Bautista.
“In qualifying I struggled for feeling on the front, the bike was moving around a lot on the rear and we were unable to solve our problems in time for the race. I would have liked to have been fighting for a similar result to Misano but the bike wasn't in the right shape.
“I managed to make up positions in the race and improve my pace from practice but no more than that so we have to focus on the positives, which were championship points and important data for Motegi, where will again work hard to fix our set-up problems with the bike. If everything works as we hope then we should be competitive.
“Starting off the flyaway triple-header on the right foot will be fundamental, plus we are racing at Honda's home circuit and I would like to offer them a good result as a way of thanking them for all their support throughout the season.
“I have been competitive at Motegi in the past so I hope to repeat that this weekend. Motegi is a circuit where you need a bike that is stable on the brakes and has good traction in corner exit. It should be well suited to our bike, which has great acceleration.”