Andrea Dovizioso fears he will miss out on a factory Yamaha ride next year because Valentino Rossi is 'really close' to a deal.
The Italian rider, currently at satellite Tech 3 squad, has made his case for a work both away from the circuit and on it, scoring four podiums for his outfit.
He admitted that may still not be enough however, given his belief that Rossi is closing in on a return to the Japanese giant.
Asked about his chances of landing Ben Spies' ride at Yamaha, Dovizioso told the official MotoGP website: "This is what I expect, but it looks like Valentino is really close.
"I don't know exactly, it's not fixed, but its really bad for me because I swapped to Yamaha because I believe I can find a place in the factory team.
"We made the best we can this year and [claimed] four podiums, but it looks like it is not enough to get that place back. We will see in the next two weeks."
Dovizioso's comments follow Rossi's own admission that he is struggling to maintain motivation while competing for "not very important" positions.
Dovizioso added that his feeling with Yamaha has continued to improve since he switched into the Tech 3 team from Honda' works outfit at the end of 2011.
"Nobody expected these results before the start of season so I'm really happy, especially as my feeling with Yamaha is really good," he said.
"I have to improve, so we will try 100 per cent until the end of the season. I feel I can reduce the gap [to the front three]."
- Andrea Dovizioso
- Valentino Rossi