Alvaro Bautista’s Column, Sachsenring: Now the poster is real
I write in Los Angeles, to where I came straight from Germany. It’s been a very good weekend for me, not only because of seventh place, but also because of the feeling and having defeated two champions like Hayden and Rossi. Thanks for the congratulations. And now, Laguna…
Hello again. Another week I am here with you, although actually I’m in Los Angeles. I came directly from Germany, because I have some commitments for sponsors of the team, it will be good to get used to the jetlag. I don’t know where to start. It’s been a good weekend for me and from the beginning I was comfortable on the bike. Well, not so much in the first free practice, because the track was very bad and there were many crashes, but after that things went well. After the test in Italy I had a good feeling and I continued with that and I hope to do so in the coming races.
Difficult start. I wasn’t in a good position on the grid. In practice I had good pace, but I could not do a good lap to qualify further up front and the first few corners here are criminal, too close and narrow, it is difficult to pass. I concentrated on making a good start and push at the beginning, if I could get to the front group then I could follow. Especially after the warmup where my pace was like that of the fastest. I didn’t do a super start, but it was not bad. And when I positioned myself behind the top six I was a bit far away and I could not get their rhythm, so I was riding and battling with Hayden. We passed each other a few times until Rossi arrived, when I saw him pass me I thought “What are you doing here?” In practice he was behind, but you know that Valentino is a wizard and grows in the race.
Great battle. It was a wonderful fight, I passed them, they passed me, it seemed we passed each other almost every corner until the last. I was quite clear that I wanted to be ahead, but honestly it was very difficult to pass. They brake very strong, very late and well within the curve, so in the last lap when I was behind them I took a risk to get past. Vale first, in the first corner, it was important to be second in the group in the final corners if I wanted to finish seventh, so I tried to close all the gaps but also stick to Nicky. In the penultimate corner I braked later than him, I had to take an anchor and everything to stop the bike and slided a bit in the exit of the curve, but held my position and closed the last corner as good as possible. Hayden went inside, but I took advantage of the exit to go back through and finish ahead of him.
Satisfaction. It’s said easily, but winning against two world champions in a head-to-head battle is not easy and as I said at the time, when I came to MotoGP, I’ll do a poster with one pass on Valentino, although he’s not in his best form he’s still Rossi. I am very happy not only for the position, but how I got it. The race in front was also entertaining. The first six are a step above and especially Dani, Jorge and Casey. A brilliant Pedrosa who has returned to his highest level, it’s a shame about the injury. If not for that we would now see a different championship. And Lorenzo who cut the points to Stoner and makes the championship more entertaining.
Other classes. In Moto2 Marquez won again. No words. He picked up the pace he had in 125cc and it will be difficult to stop him, let’s see if he can keep reducing the points to Bradl, although it’s a lot. Too bad for Julito, we are glad he’s back so soon and so motivated, but he had bad luck and crashed at turn one touching with another rider. But he must be satisfied, because he did the maximum. And in 125cc a fun and close race, even the photo finish couldn’t tell who had won. Fantastic for Faubel who needed a victory. The pursuit took time and finally it has come. Maverick very good again, another podium and always very close to the leader. And Terol, adding points and moving on. The championship is long and there are times when you can win, but when you can’t it is best to get points.
And now, Laguna. I hope you enjoyed this Grand Prix at least as much as I did and I want to thank you for all the congratulations you sent me via Twitter. And shortly I’ll see you again. Sunday at Laguna Seca, a very difficult circuit and it looks like the last one, very twisty. I hope that the level of Suzuki and me continues, at least, like Sachsenring and I can continue to improve gradually. Until then, have a good time this week.