Álvaro Bautista Blog, Qatar Grand Prix: Better nine points than 45 stitches

 In Blog, MotoGP, News

Like last year Álvaro Bautista will write a column for the Spanish newspaper AS every Tuesday after the race weekends to share his thoughts about the Grand Prix. Today AS published the first one after the Qatar Grand Prix, below you can find the complete translation.

Photo: Gresini Racing

The winter has been long, but finally we have an exciting year of racing ahead of us. Although I had higher expectations for the first Grand Prix in Qatar, in the end a seventh place isn’t bad… especially if compared with the injury I suffered at the same place in 2011.

Hello friends! Again I am here for another season to tell you about my impressions after every Grand Prix. It’s been a long winter, but as you see, everything arrives and now we face an exciting year of races which I hope you enjoy as much as I do. A year in which there are a few changes for me. Change of team, bike, capacity – but what never changes is the passion! There’s also a change on TV, my congratulations to Telecinco for their debut and great work.

A different result*. Yes, sounds strange, right? But it’s the difference of how I started last year and how I started this one. A little less than a year ago, also coinciding with the first time I wrote my column, I had to tell you about the aftermath of that crash which fractured my femur and when I got 45 “puntos” [“puntos” means “points” as well as “stitches” – ed.] after the surgery. This time it’s less “puntos”, but they’re of the good kind, which you add to your championship standings.

Good for the motivation. Maybe, before I went to Qatar and with the feeling I had after the winter test, if you’d have told me I’d finish seventh, I wouldn’t have been entirely happy with it. During testing I thought that our goal was to fight at least for fifth place. But if we start to look a bit at how the weekend went for me, I think it’s been a positive result and mainly it gave me a lot of confidence. Because from the first free practice the feeling with the bike wasn’t very good, I never had a good feeling with the front. Entering the corners I couldn’t go fast like a few weeks ago in Jerez. We worked very hard to find solutions which would help me regain my confidence. In the end, after the qualifying, the feeling was still bad. Our last opportunity to try and gain some confidence was the warmup, so we modified the bike to see if it improved. Things became even more complicated when, just coming out of the pits and I don’t know if due to cold tyres or why else, I lost the grip in one corner and crashed. Crashing never helps, but if it’s in the warmup, just a few hours before the race, even less so.

At the maximum. When the race starts, no matter what problems you have, in the end you have to try and get the maximum with what you have. This was my goal and for that the start and the first laps were essential. Maybe also because of that I started with the softer rear tyre, as the only of the MotoGP [prototype] riders who did that, to try and be fast at the beginning and then later to see how to manage it to finish as good as I could. Very focused at the start, the lights go out and GAS! The rest I think you’ve seen, a great battle with Hayden, Bradl y Barberá to finish seventh in the end, very close to sixth. And if the Ducati wouldn’t shoot like a rocket over the straight at Qatar, I could have finished one position further up. I ended up rather happy after the difficult weekend and after suffering a serious injury at this track a year ago; because in my two MotoGP seasons I haven’t finished the first race of the year; because I haven’t finished a race since the Aragon GP last year. But most of all because I was able to enjoy fighting one on one with the other riders.

A great Sunday. In general it’s been a good Grand Prix for the Spaniards, a hattrick of victories and more podiums. Maverick showed that he’s the favourite for the new Moto3 class, but look out for Italian Fenati who is in his first year and left everyone speechless. In Moto2 we saw a race with many passes and excitement until the end, with a victory for Marquez who after almost no preseason came back and won, but he didn’t have it easy with Iannone and Lüthi. And also Pol and Rabat did a great race. In MotoGP things were also interesting. In the end Lorenzo, being consistent, could take the win ahead of Pedrosa, who had a big change in the race, and Stoner who had problems with arm pump. Congratulations to all of them.

All the best to Lascorz. Now I’m back home preparing for the next race, which is none other than Jerez. So excited! Last year I missed it, but this year I want to enjoy it together with all of you and try to do a good race, one like the 250cc race in 2007, the famous one with 44 passes, that would be nice, right? Well, until then I wish you some happy weeks. And before I finish, I’d like to send a lot of support to the family and friends of Joan Lascorz and a lot of strength to him. We’ve raced together in the past and he’s a great guy.

*The whole paragraph as well as the original column title is a nice a play on words. “Puntos” usually means “points” in Spanish, but in relation to the surgery it also means “stitches”. Last year he had 45 “puntos” [=”stitches] from surgery, this year only nine “puntos” [=”points”] from the race.

Source: AS

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