Álvaro Bautista and the Rizla Suzuki squad are back in Malaysia for the penultimate pre-season test of 2011 with another comprehensive test schedule ahead of them.
Bautista had an impressive first test of 2011 at the Sepang circuit – despite missing the final day due to illness. He recorded his fastest ever time around the 5,548m circuit earlier this month and is in a determined mood to continue with the work he has already begun.
The team has another busy workload during the three days which will see Bautista test new and updated chassis parts, as well as significantly revised electronic control strategies. This is a very important test as it will be the last time that Suzuki’s engineers will have significant time following a test to scrutinise the data and make any further changes in readiness for the start of the season. The final test – at Qatar – is just a few days before the first race, so Bautista and the team will be looking to get every last bit of track-time and information from these three days as possible.
Suzuki’s MotoGP test rider Nobuatsu Aoki will also join the Sepang test with his own GSV-R and support crew, and will be concentrating on refining the newly developed strategies as well as confirming the base specification for 2011. He will fly in from Japan having tested at Suzuki’s private test track last Saturday, where he was joined by long-time Suzuki Factory racer and tester Yukio Kagayama for his first feedback on the 2011 GSV-R prototype.
Rizla Suzuki will take to the track on Tuesday 22nd March to continue its countdown for the 2011 MotoGP season, which gets underway next month, with the first scheduled race at Losail in Qatar on Sunday 20th March.
“I am eager to get to the test and continue with what I started earlier this month. I tried many new things in the first test, but didn’t finish the whole schedule because I was ill on the last day. I am sure the engineers at the factory will have some more updated parts for me to check out in Sepang, because with even missing the final day we still did lots of laps and I’m sure they’ve put the data to good use. I know after the first test that we can be more competitive and fight for podiums at some races – I feel very positive about 2011. As I am the only rider in the team it’s great feeling to know that a Factory like Suzuki is working just for me! We know the bike works well in hot conditions – like we have in Malaysia – but in this test we will be trying lots of components and strategies that should make it work better in other situations.”
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