Strong start for Bautista at Misano
Álvaro Bautista got Rizla Suzuki’s San Marino Grand Prix weekend off to a strong start today in Misano as he recorded the seventh fastest time.
Bautista (1’35.023, 40 laps) continued where he left off at Indianapolis last weekend and produced another positive two sessions, this time at the Misano World Circuit in Italy. Suzuki’s Spanish racer tried a new swinging arm this afternoon on his GSV-R and immediately noticed an improvement in the cornering ability of his machine. Bautista and the crew will work further on the set-up tomorrow to obtain the best setting for Sunday’s race.
Today’s practices were held in warm and sunny conditions with air temperatures hitting 30ºC. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo produced the fastest time of the day with current leader Casey Stoner second.
Bautista has another practice session tomorrow morning, followed by an hour of qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday’s 28-lap race is round 13 of this season’s championship and it will also see the Spaniard and the Suzuki GSV-R sport a fantastic one-off limited edition ‘Rizla Micron’ livery that will be launched at Misano on Sunday morning.
“I think we did a good job today! This morning we started at the same sort of pace that we had in qualifying last year, so that gave us a good base to begin with for the weekend. The feeling with the bike was quite good, but I did not feel very well because I had been a bit ill yesterday – I think it was an upset stomach from something I had to eat. Thanks to the guys at Clinica Mobile because in the afternoon session I was feeling much better. We wanted to test a new swinging arm in the second session and I started on the bike with the standard setting, but after three laps my engine said ‘stop!’ and I couldn’t continue with that bike, so I jumped on the other machine- with the new swinging arm. The feeling was good and we were able to turn a little bit better in the corners and this is good because this is what we wanted to improve. I think we have made a step forward and now I am sure we can improve the lap-time and the rhythm. We are not so far from the first place and I am quite happy about that. Thanks to all the crew for their hard work today after the long trip straight back from Indianapolis.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“I think we can be happy with the performances today of both Álvaro and the Suzuki GSV-R. We made some further detailed changes compared to the Indianapolis weekend and so far everything we have done has taken the bike forward a little bit each time. Unfortunately we lost our first engine of the year – there was definitely no hiding from that! But it was very much a Friday engine that had already covered a lot of miles so it wasn’t completely unexpected. We’ll just keep pushing and try to improve tomorrow, and then something special in qualifying.”