Bautista finding his feet on debut at Laguna Seca Rizla Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista made his very first racing visit to the Laguna Seca Raceway in America today and took on the task of learning this demanding circuit. Bautista's (P16, 1'25.031,...
Bautista finding his feet on debut at Laguna Seca
Rizla Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista made his very first racing visit to the Laguna Seca Raceway in America today and took on the task of learning this demanding circuit.
Bautista's (P16, 1'25.031, 26 laps) only previous visit to the 3,610m California circuit was as a spectator and he found out just how difficult this track is on a MotoGP machine when he made his way out onto track for today's practice session. He made big steps throughout the session -- even though he was troubled by braking issues early on -- and is positive that he will continue to improve as the weekend continues.
Loris Capirossi (P15, 1'24.710, 30 laps) is sure that the team will be able to identify the problems that have been holding him back today, as they assess the data this evening. He was unable to get the correct feeling for his bike today and is convinced that the direction they will follow tomorrow will see him take steps up the timesheet.
Today's one-and-only practice session was conducted in very pleasant conditions with air temperatures at 24oC. Australian Casey Stoner on his factory Ducati set the fastest time.
Rizla Suzuki has one more practice session tomorrow morning, followed by qualifying on Saturday afternoon. Sunday's 32-lap race gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (21.00hrs GMT).
"It's a totally new circuit for me and a very difficult one to learn. It is so different from any other circuit because it is like a row of mountains -- always up and down. Some corners are very difficult because you cannot see where they go, so you have to find very clear reference points for where to be and where to brake. It is difficult in one hour to learn all this, especially because I had a braking problem that caused me to lose about half the practice, so I never had the time I wanted out there. At the end I went a bit quicker and found the points I was looking for. After a good sleep tonight I think it will be easier to ride the circuit. The bike is working well, but I do have a bit of a problem exiting the corners as I'm going a bit wide, but we can certainly change that tomorrow. We will take things step-by-step tomorrow and learn the track, then get quicker in qualifying so we are ready for the race on Sunday."
"It's been tough today, but we never thought it was going to be easy. We tried to get the right feeling on the bike because we just couldn't get it turning right, but we now have an idea how to resolve that tomorrow. This year we have tried to go in a different way with the bike, but we have not really understood whether it is the right way or not, because we have tried to get more rear grip and have a shorter bike. For me that is sometimes the right way, but sometimes I struggle as well, and here is a racetrack that I am really struggling on. I am very positive for tomorrow though because I am 100% convinced we will improve and we will keep our fingers crossed that the rest of the weekend will be a lot better for us."
-source: rizla suzuki