Alvaro Bautista’s Column, Australia: I saw that it was wet after I crashed
I started the weekend visiting an animal park with penguins and other animals of the area, such as kangaroos, koalas and wombats, and I finished it with a race where I left from the front row after Lorenzo’s crash in the warmup. Unfortunately I crashed out with just three laps to go.
Among penguins. Hello! Here I am with you again after staying a week in Thailand where I was almost disconnected from the world. What a change from the heat there to the cold in Australia, but at least we didn’t have a lot of rain, although for sure the little that we had came at the worst possible moment. In the days before the Grand Prix I was the tour guide for my girlfriend, visiting an animal park with penguins and other animals of the area, kangaroos, koalas, wombats, Tasmanian Devil, etc. It was a way to not think too much of the weekend lying ahead of me. Because at Phillip Island Suzuki has always had problems and never managed to get the bike working well because of the cold, I don’t know it’s also because of the kind of track, but last year it was very difficult for us and I didn’t quite know what we’ll have to face on this one.
On the first row. It started better than we thought, the first day I finished just three tenths behind fourth position. Although the day had been like never before there, warm and without wind. But on Saturday we came back to reality and the cold and the wind were back. We were prepared and made several modifications to the bike to get more grip and we managed it. In conditions where last year we were taking risks to fight for getting on the fourth row during qualifying, this year we got the best result for Suzuki at this track and for me the best in MotoGP. The joy in the box was huge, everyone was very happy although the day that matters is Sunday, but you have to enjoy every moment, right? Unfortunately Lorenzo, after his crash in warmup (I wish him a speedy recovery), could not start the race, so the fourth place I had achieved was transformed into a front row start! It’s been a long time since I had a free view in front of me on the grid, I missed that. My plan was to make a good start and hang on with the front guys as good as possible. I didn’t do my best start, but I was in the group fighting for the podium until Hayden began to go a bit slower and it was difficult for me to pass him because he brakes very well and when I made it the guys in front had escaped and I could not catch them, although I was riding only a few tenths slower than them. I fought with Hayden and this let Rossi catch up with us. He passed me under braking into a corner, but he entered it a bit too strong and went down and I very nearly hit his helmet with my front wheel, but luckily could avoid it.
Raindrops and crashes. The weather was crazy, it was raining on one part of the circuit and on the other it was sunny. When I managed to escape from Hayden and ride comfortably in fifth position – which was an unthinkable result for Suzuki and my team before coming here – it happened what you already know, four raindrops fell a little more often in just one corner of the track, at that moment I was at the other end where it was sunny, not one drop, and when I reached that point after the rain had already stopped I saw that the track was wet, but I saw it after I crashed. Not even the flag marshals saw it, because there was no indication for a wet track until I lay on the ground. A pity, because it ended a perfect weekend. But that’s racing; just three laps and all the hard work you’ve done with the team is not reflected in a race result. I’ll take the positives from it – which are many – and forget the rest.
Congratulations, Casey. Congratulations to Stoner for the championship, he has been the strongest all year and is the one who deserves it; even if Jorge could have raced, he would have won it all the same, he is a tough opponent to beat. In 125cc the race was crazy, it rained, it was dry, nobody was sure and at the end Terol managed his lead and didn’t risk anything, but he can afford it because he has more than enough advantage. And in Moto2, what can you say about Marquez, every time I think he surprises more and more; after starting from last position because of the incident he caused in practice he did a great comeback to finish on the podium and most importantly losing just four points to Bradl – how exciting will the next two races be!
Well, I say Goodbye from Malaysia, where I am right now, because fortunately this weekend there’s racing again. I look forward to keep enjoying my bike and keep improving and if we’re a bit lucky we get a good result; last year we finished fifth! Greetings!