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Bautista aiming for Estoril return

Alvaro Bautista

Alvaro Bautista is aiming to return to MotoGP at this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix after almost six weeks out through injury.

The Suzuki rider broke his left leg after crashing in practice for the season-opening grand prix in Qatar, and was replaced by John Hopkins in Spain earlier this month.

However, following three operations on his broken femur, the former 125cc world champion now believes he is ready to return to the track in time for the opening practice session at Estoril - after which his condition will be evaluated again.

"I have been working very hard to be back in time for Estoril and I believe I will be able to take part in the race," said the Spaniard. "I know it will be difficult, but I think the sooner I can get on the bike the more it will aid my total recovery and help my way to full fitness.

"I have travelled over 2700 miles with many journeys to the hyperbaric chamber in Madrid to assist with my healing - I have been there so many times I could close my eyes and go without problems.

"I have now finished the rehabilitation phase and started on the physical preparation; this involves a lot of swimming, cycling and other fitness programmes to build up the strength so I can ride again.

"It is going to be really tough, but I am totally focused on being on the GSV-R in Portugal, it's all I can think about at the moment and that is my first goal. After that we'll see what happens and take everything one step at a time."

Long-time Suzuki test rider Nobuatsu Aoki is on standby to compete at Estoril if Bautista is declared unfit to race.

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