Alvaro Bautisa and the Rizla Suzuki team are anxious to start testing next week as they prepare for the 2011 MotoGP season.
Bautista and his crew face an interesting season ahead – reduced data as a one rider team, the final year of the 800s, the uncertainty of the team’s involvement in the 2012 season, and the final year on Bautista’s contract should provide enough drama for the months ahead.
Bautista will be heading to Sepang in Malaysia for the first test of 2011 in good spirits and is planning to continue with the progress the team made at the Valencia test during the last outing of 2010. Bautista is keen to assess the improvements the Factory has made to the GSV-R in readiness for his assault on this season’s championship and believes that, with all the focus of Suzuki and the team being on him, it will benefit his chances of good results.
Suzuki’s Spanish star had an impressive outing at the 5,548m Sepang circuit last year when he finished in fifth place with possibly his best ride in MotoGP to-date. The Malaysian track has become a regular venue on the test schedule due to it offering a near perfect mix of tight turns, fast sweeping corners and long straights. This, added to the usual good weather, makes it almost perfect for MotoGP testing and this is the reason why two of the three pre-season tests will be held there.
Bautista will take to the track on Tuesday 1st February for the first day of a three-day test, which will see the whole team undertake a thorough and comprehensive test programme to evaluate the GSV-R and begin the process of preparing the machine and rider for the opening race of the season at Qatar in March.
“I cannot wait to get back on the bike, because it has been such a long time since I’ve ridden and want to get back to work as soon as possible. I’m looking forward to see what the guys have achieved at the Suzuki factory and what new things we have to test at Sepang. I have had a good holiday and was able to totally relax; now I’m fully re-charged and ready to go. I’ve been in the gym a lot and I’m 100% fit – I also managed to do some good ski training to improve my stamina and fitness. We know this year is going to be very hard work, but I’m not afraid of that and we’re all looking forward to the challenge. The whole team worked so well at Valencia, they were all focussed on the job we have to do and I can only see that getting stronger as we become a solid unit. We are all very motivated and now we need to get on the track and show what we can do – I’m excited and very positive about 2011.”
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