Bautista hoping for podium fight at home: “Jerez always feels like the true start to the season”
For Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Alvaro Bautista and Michele Pirro the second round of the season presents an opportunity to build on the progress made in Qatar and show their true potential at a circuit more suited to them. Bautista is determined to enter the battle at the front of the pack in front of his home crowd, having established a good feel for his Honda RC213V machine around this track during preseason testing.
Alvaro Bautista “It was a tough weekend for us in Qatar because I struggled to find the confidence with the bike that I had enjoyed during preseason testing. We tried a lot of things without ever establishing a good feeling and I had to work very hard in the race to get 100% out of what we had. It was important for us to finish the race and to finish it in seventh was a positive way to finish a difficult weekend. During this short break I have been training hard every day and enjoying some time relaxing with my family, without ever taking my mind off the job. We have some extra PR work to do this weekend but I always look forward to Jerez because it is a very special race to me. I missed out last year through injury but we gathered some good data during preseason that should help us have a good race on Sunday. Our objective is to run with the guys at the front, which would be great because it is always such a pleasure to race at Jerez in front of the fans. Jerez always feels like the true start to the season because it is the first European round and everything runs according to the normal daytime schedule. It is a real festival of motorcycles and it’s exciting for the fans and riders. I have some unforgettable memories of Jerez because it was here that I took my first ever Grand Prix win and it would be nice if I could get my first MotoGP podium here too.”
Fausto Gresini “The first race of the season in Qatar gives us an idea of how the season can be for us and I thought Bautista showed the potential to be running at the front in future. It wasn’t an easy weekend because we had three cashes to contend with but in the end it was a positive weekend. He ran with a competitive group, fought hard for sixth place and could have maybe even finished higher. He had a good pace at Jerez in testing despite a few crashes there too so if he can improve his feeling for the Honda RC213V from Qatar he should have a good weekend. The incredible Spanish crowd will be behind Alvaro at Jerez which is an important factor and can help him make that step up to the lead group.”
Source: Gresini Racing