“Comfortable and confident” Bautista to start British GP from third row
Bautista (2’04.520, 25 laps) again produced a solid day’s work on his Suzuki GSV-R and made constant improvements to find the optimum set-up for tomorrow’s race. As this afternoon’s qualifying drew to a close he pushed hard to improve on his lap-time, but got caught up in traffic and had to settle for a place on the third row, even though his potential showed he could have qualified higher.
The weather at Silverstone looks like playing a very important part this weekend. After the wet/dry session of yesterday, both of today’s sessions were held in dry conditions, but this afternoon saw air temperatures only reach 17ºC and a strong breeze made it feel even cooler. Pole position went to Casey Stoner on a Honda, as the Australian secured his fourth pole of the season.
Tomorrow’s 20-lap British Grand Prix gets underway at 13.00hrs local time (14.00hrs GMT), but with heavy rain forecast to arrive in the area of the circuit at around race-time, it could present a whole new lot of variables for Bautista and the rest of the MotoGP field.
Álvaro Bautista: “Today we have been able to do both sessions in the dry conditions, so that has been good for us to test many things. I started this morning with the same setting as I had yesterday morning and I immediately felt a lot more comfortable today than I did on Friday. We were able to try the bike with a couple of different settings to make it shorter or longer – I preferred the longer set-up because this track has fast corners and you need more stability. I tried the front hard tyre this afternoon because the soft one this morning was a bit difficult to turn in some corners and I was also able to get a good rhythm with the used tyres today, so that is an important thing for the race. I think I could have improved my lap-time at the end, but I got in some traffic and was never able to follow someone faster than me. I am happy being on the third row, but I think our potential is better than that. The weather says it could rain, but I think we have a good setting for that from yesterday. Whatever happens I want to get a good start and get with the group in front and I’m sure I will be able to improve my rhythm and times. I am pleased with what we have done here this year, because in 2010 I had a bad feeling and wasn’t even able to put my knee down! This year it is a good sign that the bike has improved so much because I now feel comfortable and confident on it. I think we have made a good step forward and I am looking forward to the race.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“It is a sign of Álvaro coming back to full fitness that we are all a little disappointed with the third row! We all believe that he and the Suzuki GSV-R could have been in the high 2’03s if we’d found a better track position and put together a slightly better lap. The front few guys are a long way away, but wet or dry we want to be in the fight for the top-six tomorrow and Álvaro has the ability to make that happen.
“As a UK based team, everyone at Rizla Suzuki would like to pass our wishes for a very quick recovery to Call Crutchlow. It’s never nice to hurt yourself, but at your home Grand Prix it must be very upsetting – get well soon Cal.”
Source: Rizla Suzuki MotoGP