Improved qualifying sees Bautista on the third row
Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista made a determined effort in this afternoon’s qualifying session at Indianapolis to ensure he has a grid position that gives him a chance of a good result for tomorrow’s race.
Bautista will start from the third row after qualifying in ninth place with a best lap–time of 1’40.333 from his 28-laps. He thoroughly tested the Bridgestone race tyres that he had available, to get the best option for Sunday. Bautista is still looking for a bit more durability from his preferred front tyre selection, but believes the team will be able to make a few changes to the set-up of the GSV-R to assist with tyre life in readiness for the race.
Today’s qualifying at the 4,216m Indianapolis Motor Speedway was held in warm and sunny conditions with track temperatures getting up to 51ºC. Current championship leader Casey Stoner took pole position, with American Ben Spies in second and reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo making up the front row.
Tomorrow’s 28-lap race is round 12 of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship and the lights will go out to signal the start of the event at 14.00hrs local time (18.00hrs GMT).
“The qualifying today was not too bad compared with the last few races, so this is a lot better for us. We tried a long run at the start of the session and the grip from the rear was no problem, but the front did not have enough life in it to make a full race length. This will make things difficult for tomorrow, because we have to try and preserve the front tyre and make sure we have enough durability for 28-laps. We are starting from the third row so the main thing will be to get a good start and stay with the front guys. We will look at today’s data to see if we can use a setting that will give us more life in the tyre and stop it dropping off and sliding around. I am looking forward to tomorrow because we have a better grid position and I will give it full gas and 100% to get a good result.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“I don’t think Álvaro or anyone else on the team is particularly excited with ninth on the grid, but the third row gives us a decent chance to go with the fast guys on the early laps and challenge for a good result tomorrow. We’ve done a number of long runs and as much as 35-laps on a race rear tyre - and the rhythm was still pretty good. We now need Álvaro to race aggressively tomorrow like he has done recently and I think we can hope to have an exciting afternoon.”