Alvaro Bautista was relatively happy with his performance in the first MotoGP practice session at Phillip Island which saw him finish in 11th position overall.
Bautista showed progress with his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R over the two sessions and managed an 8th place finish in the second session.
Bautista and Rizla Suzuki team-manager Paul Denning give their thoughts on their first day at Phillip Island and talk about their expectations for progress over the weekend below:
“Up until this year this has not been one of the best tracks for the GSV-R and it was quite difficult here for me last year. In the first session this morning I didn’t feel a lot of rear grip, but we changed some things for this afternoon and it made a big difference to the feeling. We also worked on the electronics and altered the mapping for some of the corners to help with rear grip. At the end of the second session with some new tyres there was a big difference than with the used ones. This track has very fast corners and you can feel a difference between new and used tyres here quite a lot. I have done my best-ever lap at Phillip Island today and a 1’31 is not a bad time, but I still feel that we can improve the feeling in the bike and be quite a bit quicker. On the new tyres I can ride normal and with a good rhythm for a few laps, but it soon becomes difficult to exit from the corners and get the grip I need. We have improved a lot from last year and I feel more relaxed on the bike. I am happy with the first day, but will be a lot happier if I can get a good feeling tomorrow like I have had in the last few races, then I’m sure we’ll be in a good position for the race.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“The pace of the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R on Phillip Island today is confirmation of how well, and how far, Suzuki has developed the bike since 2010. The character of the track is still not the best for us and Álvaro still has a couple of fundamental issues that are holding him back, but to be 0.2-of-a-second from fourth place and in the top-10 in this afternoon’s session is like a dream compared to last year. We still expect a tough weekend and a tough race, but we fully believe we can be in the fight for a decent position on Sunday.”
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