Alvaro Bautista’s column, Dutch Grand Prix: Forgetting Assen
As always Alvaro Bautista wrote about his experience at the latest Grand Prix for AS today, this time analyzing the races at Assen, missing grip and sending encouragement to his fellow riders. This is the complete translation of his column.
Firstly I’m sendings lots of encouragement to Terol. About Assen, it is best to move on because at no moment I was feeling good with the bike. Congratulations to Marquez, Maverick, Salom, Gadea, Elena and I hope that Simoncelli thinks and changes. Now, heading to Italy.
Animo, Nico. Here I am another week with all of you. And before I start to tell you about the last Grand Prix, I want to send a big hug and lot of encouragement to Nico Terol. We hope to see you on the bike again soon fighting for the championship.
Bad feeling. Honestly, this will be the last time I remember the weekend, because it is better to forget it and move on. Why? Quite simply, at no time I felt good on the bike, from the first day on, which was in the wet, I had no grip on the rear wheel and every time I went into a corner, especially on the left side because there are only half as much as right handers, the bike tended to lose it on the rear because it couldn’t get the temperature into the tyre.
Water and tyres. During practice we try to improve, but the weather did not help us much, because it started to rain, then it stopped and so it was difficult to focus on setting the bike up. Actually many riders had problems with grip, but to show you how I was, I give you an example. Normally, at other circuits, most riders can use the hard tyre for the race, I almost always use the soft one, because with the hard one I don’t have any grip, this is to say that I need to use a tyre that’s a step softer than the others. Here, almost every rider had problems with the soft tyre and could not use the hard option, so I would have needed at least one softer version than the soft tyre we had.
Zero grip. I saw a little light at the end of the tunnel when on Friday after the qualifying, in which we didn’t get a good setup, I received news from Race Direction that because we all had problems with the rear tyre Bridgestone will bring a softer version for Saturday, so it would help us get better grip. It didn’t happen, because Honda did not agree, and therefore they didn’t bring them. Still, I was hoping for rain, at least I could be better than in practice, but it did not rain and it got colder, so the grip was less and not a drop fell throughout the race. The feeling was worse in every corner and I think I was riding more than two seconds slower than the front guys. What a desaster!
Marco does not think. What bad luck for Lorenzo, who is far away from the lead of the championship because of Simoncelli. It was clear that he didn’t intend to knock him down or crash, but I do not understand how he went like this into the third corner of the first lap, a left, the first on that side, with the little grip there was and still cold tyres. And above all he had the pole, he was in third at the time, he had time to win the race… I do not understand Marco’s behaviour, he goes very fast, but he doesn’t think at all on the bike and that sometimes harms others, I hope he changes that.
Spanish triumphes. Speaking of the other categories, Marquez great again in Moto2, very intelligent in a tough race where the circuit was drying and it was easy to make mistakes. In fact Bradl crashed. It seems that Marc is maturing and calming down with the desire he has to win. And difficult start for Elena, with a complicated track and worse weather conditions. Three crashes, but surely she learned a lot. Keep it up! In 125cc again Spanish power. Entertaining as ever and again I have to tip my hat to Maverick. He did a race like it’s his third year in the world championship. He knew how to push when he had to do it and it went well. Also congratulations to Salom, his first podium and I hope that’s just the beginning. And my friend Gadea who looked very good all weekend and hopefully we’ll always see him in these positions, it is his place.
Next stop: Italy. And I’m already packing, tomorrow I travel to Mugello, a complicated and very fast circuit where I hope the weather will be good to us and I can regain a good feeling with my bike. Until then, have a good time and keep cool in this heat. Greetings!