The Rizla Suzuki had their best weekend in months at the Spanish GP at Catalunya with Alvaro Bautista taking 5th position and Loris Capirossi taking 7th. The hot weather seemed to suit the Rizla Suzuki team all weekend as they had the pace to regularly keep up with the frontrunners and both riders said they felt huge improvements with the bike when compared to the last few rounds.
Alvaro Bautista was notable in taking 5th position in the race and fighting hard to hold off Ben Spies on the last few laps.
“I am very happy because this fifth position is like winning the race after the last few races we’ve had. We really needed this result, for me, for my team and especially for Suzuki. I was very strong all weekend and was confident that I could do a good race here. I was very concentrated at the start because I knew if I could start well I could stay with the group in front. I did that, but I did have a bit of a problem in the race with the hard-braking places because I didn’t feel that the bike was entering the corners like in the practice. I got a good rhythm in the race and tried to control what was going on behind me and go for a good result. In the last laps I saw that Spies was coming very fast and I tried to push a bit more, but the rear tyre was used up and I couldn’t do any more, so I rode tight for the last lap to make sure I got fifth position. I want to say thank-you to all my team, to Suzuki and the sponsors Rizla and especially everybody that is here to support me, all my fans and family.”
“I want to say well done to the whole team because this is the first real result of the whole year. For sure we did a good job all weekend, but we made a mistake with the tyre for the race. All the information we had said that it was impossible to use the softer tyre for the race and we used our ones in practice because we didn’t think we’d need them for this afternoon, but in the end I was the only rider with a harder tyre in the warm-up and I had a bit of a problem with grip and then in the race I was one of the only ones with the harder compound and I struggled a lot with feeling at the start. It worked well in the middle of the race, but the performance dropped for the last four laps and I struggled to keep a good rhythm. This is the first time this year I have felt that the bike has been right and this for us is a really important thing.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“I am so pleased for Álvaro here today, because to see him come back from his injury – and the problems it’s caused him in the last few weeks – to such a high level, is a fantastic achievement. He thoroughly deserved his top-five finish. Loris also looked strong – especially in the middle of the race – and only lost out to Ben in the final laps when a finish rather than a crash – as his rear grip dropped away significantly – was the right decision. The team prepared well for the race today, but most importantly the riders have some belief back in the bike and in their ability to push hard. From a riding performance and a bike setting point of view, hopefully this is the start of our season.”
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