Bautista continues his Suzuki education
Alvaro Bautista's graduation from 250cc to the premier class continued this week, with the Spanish rider undertaking his second test on the factory Suzuki prototype.
Having experienced his first action on the 800cc machine during the Valencia test earlier in the month, Bautista travelled to Portugal with Aoki to get some valuable track time at the Estoril circuit as the Rizla Suzuki team collected more feedback ahead of the start of the 2010 season.
Bautista completed more than 200 laps over the three days and experienced a range of weather conditions, which included rain, overcast skies and sun, all accompanied by cool temperatures. The Spaniard tested some new specification engine components on the GSV-R, as well as aerodynamic parts and Akrapovic exhaust systems.
Aoki continued with the test programme started by Loris Capirossi in Valencia, further assessing new parts ahead of the winter break.
"Suzuki is very pleased to have been able to complete this test for two reasons - firstly to give Alvaro essential additional seat-time on the GSV-R and secondly to give Nobu the chance to do some important testing on a GP track outside of Japan," explained Suzuki team manager Paul Denning. "Nobody in Suzuki or in the team is under any illusions regarding the amount of additional performance needed out of the GSV-R for 2010 and whilst the test items have not been night-and-day differences, they will certainly help the overall package be a lot stronger when we get the new bike at Sepang in February."
Bautista, who by the end of the test was lapping consistently around the 1'38.5 mark, pleased Denning with his display.
"Alvaro has been very impressive over the three days and has completed 212 laps with absolutely no errors," said Denning. "His pace at the end of the test is very respectable, especially considering that there were only two bikes out there on track. With cooler conditions and no rubber being laid down the conditions were not as good as they were at the race weekend last month. He has gelled really well with the whole team and is taking a very calm approach."
The team are now looking to the next scheduled test in Malaysia in February, as Denning added, "It is now a long time until Loris and Alvaro get to test again. We really wish Loris could have been here in Estoril, but we are grateful to have had this opportunity to point us in the right direction as Suzuki strives to become competitive in 2010."