JiR Team Scot hopes that Andrea Dovizioso can deliver a leading performance at Honda's home track this weekend, and believes a debut MotoGP podium isn't beyond reach.
The talented Italian will start a weekend, during which could be officially announced as a Repsol Honda rider next season, holding fifth in the world championship standings and having scored points in all but one of the first 14 rounds.
"The Japanese Grand Prix for our riders will be an incentive to show to Honda at their 'home' race both riders' full potential. Both [Dovizioso and 250cc rider Yuki Takahashi] can aspire to the podium," declared team director Gianluca Montiron.
Whilst eagerly anticipating the Motegi event, Dovizioso remains concerned about the engine performance of his satellite-spec RC212V, whilst the relative strength of Michelin's tyres will also play a big part in his attempts to beat a MotoGP best of fourth position.
"At Motegi we have always gone well, I found myself comfortable at the track from the very first time," said Andrea. "It is a circuit that reflects the characteristics of the chassis of my Honda, but we could find ourselves in difficulty thanks to the frequent acceleration out of the slow corners.
"I think we could make a good race and get another good result, as we have in recent races. We are competitive and we have to stay in front with the best. As always we will never give up at this track and a good result has an important meaning here for us as it's Honda's home circuit," he added.