Bautista satisfied with good first day and extensive tyre test
Bautista (P7, 2’03.123, 33 laps) was never outside the top-10 in either session today as he carried on with the impressive form that he showed last week at Australia. He tested the two tyre compounds available to him for this weekend, as he worked with his crew to find the best configuration for his Suzuki GSV-R around the 5,543m Sepang circuit.
Today’s sessions were held in the hot and humid conditions that are so commonplace in Malaysia. The fastest time was set by Dani Pedrosa on a Honda.
Rizla Suzuki has one more free practice session tomorrow morning followed by an hour of qualifying in the afternoon when Bautista and Hopkins will be going all out to get the best grid positions for Sunday’s 20-lap race.
Álvaro Bautista: “Today has been quite a good day for us and I am in seventh position, which is not too bad for a Friday. This morning we tried a different setting on the bike, similar to the one we used in Australia, and we preferred that one so we carried on with that this afternoon. We continued with the soft tyres we had been using this morning during this afternoon’s session and I did more than race distance with them, and the rhythm felt good. In the middle of the second practice I tried a harder rear tyre, but I didn’t feel too much initial grip and it didn’t give me as much feedback as the softer one. We have got some good information on the tyres now and I think we will use the softer one for the race, if the conditions are similar to today. I will try to improve tomorrow in FP3 and then get a good lap in qualifying, so I am in the best possible position for the race.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager: “The first day at Sepang and it has been great to see two Rizla Suzuki out on the track! Álvaro’s pace is better than his position, he equalled his best lap with race distance on the tyres and I think he can go a lot quicker tomorrow. The GSV-R is working well and if everything goes in the right direction I think Álvaro has a chance to fight for the podium on Sunday.”
Source: Rizla Suzuki