Alvaro Bautista scored a respectable 8th place in today’s qualifying session at Motegi for the Japanese MotoGP.
In the final minutes of the session Bautista was actually placed provisionally on the second row, but he was unable to improve on his previous time and was subsequently bumped down to 8th by the time the qualifying was over.
As Bautista himself noted: “With the time I did in qualifying – one-and-a-half-seconds quicker than last year – I would have been in pole position in 2010″
Still no official word on Suzuki’s plans for next season – it was expected that at some point over this weekend the team would be announcing their MotoGP plans for next season. Suzuki have not yet confirmed if they will be putting a MotoGP forward, let alone if it will be a one or two rider team.
“With the time I did in qualifying – one-and-a-half-seconds quicker than last year – I would have been in pole position in 2010! This year the level is amazing and the lap-times are very fast, but our performance is also due to the hard work the guys in the Factory have put in, it has made a big difference. This morning we tested different settings in the two bikes, one of which was set a little bit lower to help me in the hard braking parts of this track, but I tried it too late in the free practice so I didn’t have a clear idea which setting was better. This afternoon we started with the lower bike and harder compound tyres, but the feeling was not what I wanted, so I changed to the other bike and it was better. I improved my lap-time at the end, but I got into some traffic on my last laps so couldn’t improve it anymore. Eighth is not too bad and I want to produce a good race for all the Suzuki company and factory guys that are here this weekend supporting us. I will try to get a good start and fight from the beginning, I think the first three or four will be difficult to catch, but after that I think we can be in the battle for the next few positions. We will see what the weather brings and the condition of the track, but I am looking forward to a good race.”
Paul Denning –Team Manager:
“We needed a strong qualifying performance today and Álvaro delivered that. We just didn’t get the timing right on the last run, in terms of track position and traffic, but only half-of-a-second off fourth place on Honda’s home track is a decent result. The first couple of laps will be critical tomorrow and I believe if Álvaro is in the tow with the fastest riders there is a possibility of a very strong result.”
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