Alvaro Bautista plans to fight for Suzuki's first MotoGP podium since 2008 this year.

The Spaniard will be in the spotlight this season as the only GSV-R rider, after the factory downsized its MotoGP project.

Bautista finished fifth twice during his rookie season and scored almost twice as many points as team-mate and nine-time MotoGP race winner Loris Capirossi, who managed a best race result of seventh.

Capirossi, who has moved to Pramac Ducati, was the last Suzuki rider to take a rostrum, at Brno 2008.

"I'll be the only rider on the team, but I have great confidence in Suzuki because last year we did a good job of evolving the bike and we'll continue that this year," Bautista told the official MotoGP website.

"Last year I took two fifth places which were great, but this year I'd like to aim to fight for the podium in some races. I think if we do a good job in pre-season this could be possible.

"As the sole rider the factory will work on what I ask them to, whereas if there was another rider he could perhaps suggest a different direction. I know they're going to work just for me and this is very positive because they'll work from my feedback."

The closest Bautista got to the podium last year was +9.367sec at Sepang.

Bautista is drawing inspiration for the challenge ahead from Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

Seven time champion Rossi quickly turned around Yamaha's MotoGP fortunes after his arrival in 2004, while Bautista sometimes beat new world champion Lorenzo in 250cc and 125cc races.

"When Valentino went to Yamaha it was a bike that was perhaps inferior in comparison to others, and he made it into a winner. I think with hard work and knowing what needs to be done at the right time, it [the GSV-R] can improve," he said. "Suzuki has the capacity and potential to do this and we'll see if we can do it this winter."

"I don't know in which race I can win or how, but I know I have rivals who have won races or even the title, such as Lorenzo, and who I have beaten when I raced against them in other categories," he added. "Why shouldn't I be able to do that in this class? I also know it's not easy and that I have to work hard to achieve this."



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