Álvaro Bautista opted to do free practice for the Le Mans MotoGP without any pain killers in order to assess how capable he’d be over the course of the weekend – the answer was ‘not very’ and despite a heroic session he came last and ended the session about 3 seconds off the pace of the leaders.
It is feasible that Bautista may withdraw himself from the race before Sunday, and he could potentially be replaced with a Suzuki test rider. Bautista will ride with pain-killers tomorrow and the team will make an assessment then.
“I thought that I would feel better today than I do! I have worked very hard this week to be fit and I was confident that I would be able to ride the bike. It was very difficult though, because after two or three laps I started to lose energy and my left arm was hurting a lot and I couldn’t ride like I wanted to. Tomorrow I will have a pain-killing injection and hopefully the pain will be less. I will then make a decision if I continue with the weekend, today the maximum I felt I could do was five laps and the race is 28, so I still have a long way to go. I will try with the injection and see if things improve.”
“I did the whole session with one set of tyres – and on my own – so I could see where we were at. It was a pretty good session, but right at the end we made a different setting that didn’t work at all, so that was a bit disappointing. We do have a good base to work on now and we will definitely improve tomorrow. Everything seems to be going ok at the moment, so we hope things stay that way and we’ll have good weekend.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“Álvaro chose to ride today with no pain-killers and no injection, to assess exactly where he was at and he certainly lost his sun-tan over the course of the session! Motorcycle racers are a tough breed, but there comes a point when pain and lack of strength will win the day. Hopefully with some physiotherapy tonight and the injection in the morning, we’ll be in a better position to understand if a full race distance on Sunday is possible.
“I think Loris is in a stronger position that the timesheet shows. He used the same tyres for the whole session and the final setting unfortunately took us back a couple of steps. I think Loris can improve a lot tomorrow and get close to the fight with the front group.”
Popularity: 1% [?]