A tough weekend in Italy finished much as it had started for San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista today, with a disappointing race performance coming on the back of a crash in each free practice session and a bad qualifying session.

Alvaro Bautista, Honda Gresini
Alvaro Bautista, Honda Gresini

Photo by: Team Gresini

The Spaniard and his crew were unable to find a way to make his bike work on the hard tyre that Bridgestone made available for the race. There was bitter disappointment also for Michele Pirro, whose race was ended by the same technical problem that forced his retirement in Germany a week ago.

Álvaro Bautista

“Thank goodness this weekend is over because from the first moment I have struggled to get confident with the bike here. It is strange because at all the other circuits we've been to so far we have been close to the guys at the front but here we have been unable to get on the pace. It has got to be down to the fact that we usually use the soft tyre and here we were forced to use the hard tyre for the race. We had to work around this and it made everything difficult for us, as did the three crashes and the brake problem. In the race I didn't have feel or grip on the rear – we made it to the end but I'm not happy. I just hope that in the next race we are not forced to make this choice and are able to work with the soft tyre because it suits our set-up and my riding style. I want to thank the team because they have worked so hard all weekend and I am disappointed for them and the sponsors here at their home Grand Prix.”

Michele Pirro

“I am really disappointed to have to retire with the same problem as Qatar and Germany. I practically changed gear twice and my race was over. I knew it was going to be a hard year working on a new project like this but to have the same problem twice is bitterly disappointing for me, the team, and the guys who always get through so much work. I would have liked to put on a good show in my home race but what can I say? We just have to hope for better luck at Laguna Seca.”