Bautista with great pace in qualifying, but loses out on third row

 In MotoGP, News

Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista showed a strong race pace throughout this afternoon’s qualifying session at Sachsenring to leave him in an optimistic mood for tomorrow’s race.

Bautista (P10, 1’22.604) will start from the front of the fourth row after qualifying less than a second from pole position, but it was his consistency throughout the session which gives the whole team a positive outlook for Sunday. Bautista was never outside the top-10 for the whole session and was regularly in the leading pack as he made his final adjustments for tomorrow’s race. He was also the busiest rider on-track as he used the time available to its full extent to complete 36 laps of the 3,671m German circuit.

The sun shone all day at Sachsenring and temperatures improved from yesterday’s chilly sessions, enabling Bautista to make a better evaluation of the performance of the Bridgestone race tyres. World Championship leader Casey Stoner took pole position, his sixth of the season.

Tomorrow’s 30-lap race signals the halfway point of the season, with Bautista looking to make a good start and battle for his best result of the year so far when the lights go out to signal the beginning of the event at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).

Álvaro Bautista: “I am not happy with the position because I think we should be higher up than that. I started with a hard rear tyre in qualifying and right from the beginning I followed some other riders but couldn’t quite get in a rhythm. After a few laps some riders went to the box, but I stayed out on my own and I started to make a good race pace. With a tyre that had done 20-laps I did a 22.7 so that is a good sign for the race and I feel very positive. When I used my first soft tyre I made a mistake and ran off the track and lost some of the grip from the rubber, so couldn’t really get the lap-time I wanted. With my second soft tyre I had a lot of riders in front of me and I just couldn’t make a good, clean lap – so I am not happy about that. My rhythm is certainly better than the position and I will need to make a good start tomorrow – like Mugello – because at this track it is very important to have a good first lap as it is difficult to overtake.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“The whole team – Álvaro included – is disappointed with 10th place on the grid, because it doesn’t reflect our potential for tomorrow. Álvaro’s qualifying lap on new soft tyres was only one-tenth quicker than what he achieved after 20-laps on the hard tyres. His race pace – if he can get away with the fast guys – looks good enough to challenge for the top-six tomorrow, so we must try to aim for that. The plan for tomorrow has to be to get the Rizla Suzuki off the line as well as Álvaro did in Mugello and push hard for our best dry result of the year so far.”

Source: Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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