Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Crash frustrates Bautista in Laguna qualifying
Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista was left disappointed at the end of today’s qualifying session after a high-speed crash ended his hopes of capitalising on three very strong practice sessions.
Bautista (P12, 1’22.669, 30 laps) lost the front of his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R on turn three and crashed at just past the half-way point of this afternoon’s session. He was in ninth place in the standings at the time, but had yet to use a new rear tyre to get a better qualifying position. He managed to return to the pit and use his other bike to try and improve on his lap-time, but was unable to find his rhythm and will now have work to do from the fourth row of the grid tomorrow. A very positive point for the whole team is the consistency on race tyres of the Suzuki GSV-R around the 3,610m American circuit, a fact which was emphasised by Bautista making his fastest time on a tyre which had already done 27 laps of the Laguna Seca track.
Clear blue skies and bright sunshine were again the order of the day at the Californian circuit and World Champion Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha made full use of the conditions to record his second pole position of the season, with current championship leader Casey Stoner in second.
Bautista will be looking to repeat his good starts from the two races leading up to Laguna in tomorrow’s main event, as he tries to make in-roads into the riders in front of him when the lights go out to signal the start of the 32-lap race at 14.00hrs local time (21.00hrs GMT).
“It has been a very big disappointment for me and the whole team this afternoon. We had done well in every practice, but in the qualifying - where it is really important to make a good position for the race - I crashed and lost the opportunity to make a good lap. I think we need to be positive for tomorrow though, and take some encouragement from the fact that we did our best time on a 27-lap used tyre, so this is good for the race. The bad thing is that we are near the back of the grid tomorrow, so I will have to make a good start like I have in the last two races and try to get a good position in the first corner. Tomorrow we will be trying our hardest and I will be giving it full gas!”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“There’s not much to add to what Álvaro has already said! It was a disappointing qualifying result after building speed so well over the rest of the weekend. Given that the tyre that we did our fastest time on had done 27-laps, it’s clear that we could have gone quite a bit faster than we did. The crash made things tough though, and it is what it is. The boys have a fair bit of work ahead of them to rebuild the bike, but we’re over it now and all looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
by: Rizla Suzuki