Alvaro Bautista finished the first two practice sessions at Motegi in 12th place and 11th place respectively.
Not the start the team were hoping for, and both Bautista and team-manager Paul Denning maintain that there is more potential to come from the Suzuki this weekend.
“We tested a different setting this morning and compared it against the one from Aragon. We used the new set-up in the bike with the new swinging-arm and it was definitely better. This afternoon we tried the harder option tyres, because although the softer ones were not too bad this morning, I still had a bit of movement entering the corners. This track has a lot of hard braking and the harder front tyre is much better for that because it gives me more stability. We still don’t know which compound we will use for the race, so we have to test a bit more tomorrow and it will also depend on the temperature on race-day. At the end I got into a fairly good rhythm, but I still don’t feel 100% with the bike. I had a little gear-shift problem and this made judging the braking points quite difficult, and I had a lot of movement because I was moving my whole body to change down a gear. We improved at the end, but not enough and I think that we can make some big steps tomorrow. With some hard work we can make the bike perform better and improve our lap-time.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“We didn’t get up to speed as quickly as we would have liked to here in Motegi. Álvaro has had a number of small restrictions that have held him back, but on the positive side his best lap-time wasn’t faster than his regular rhythm and was very repeatable. By the end of FP2 the gap to the top-six had reduced to a level which will hopefully allow us to make in-roads during tomorrow and the team will improve the bike overnight.”
“After much debate – which in the end I am glad we as Rizla Suzuki stayed away from – it’s a pleasure to be back in Motegi and find the circuit and the Japanese fans so welcoming to the MotoGP circus!”
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