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Bautista finished 5th last year, above Rossi, Bradl and Crutchlow, this year he is only outperformed so far by the 4 "aliens" and Crutchlow.
You talk about progression, 2 years on Suzuki, second year on Gresini Honda and almost always in the top 6/7 with the odd pole and podium thrown in. Progress at this level and with his equipment cannot be much faster.
Be realistic ... who would you give the Gresini Honda to who would beat the works bikes regularly?