Plucky Bautista finishes difficult weekend with hard-fought seventh place

 In MotoGP, News

Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista produced a result that was above expectations in tonight’s Grand Prix of Qatar after a difficult weekend, which had gotten even worse in warmup with a high-speed crash.

But the plucky Spaniard still battled hard to finish seventh, just 0.033 seconds shy of sixth after a thrilling battle with factory Ducati rider Nicky Hayden. Bautista was the only rider on a prototype machine to use the softer option Bridgestone rear tyre, which he put to good effect. What still held him back was a lack of front end feel and exit speed.

Alvaro Bautista (7th) “We have finished a problematic weekend in a good way. I have struggled for front feel in practice and then we had another crash on a cold tyre in warm-up. That was a problem for us because we had gone back to the setting from winter testing but only got chance to try it on the sighting lap and warm-up lap. I made a good start and stayed with the group I was in, fighting for sixth to the end and only just missing out. We were still lacking some front feel and a bit of speed in corner exit, which would have helped out in the fight with Hayden. Anyway, I am happy because it is the first race I have finished since Aragon last year so that’s important. I have to thank the whole team for working so hard to give me the bike I’m asking for. I have great confidence in them and I am sure we will improve for the next race.”

Fausto Gresini “Alvaro had a good race considering the fact he was lacking confidence with the front throughout practice and crashed in warm-up. He rode well after a difficult weekend and showed that he has the potential to take this bike forward over the coming season. It was important to finish the race and he did that without ever backing down from the fight for sixth so I am happy and confident about the future.”

Sources: Gresini Racing / Honda Pro Racing

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