Álvaro Bautista Column, Portugal: MotoGP was more fun on the bike than on TV…
After the third Grand Prix of the 2012 MotoGP season, Álvaro Bautista again shared his thoughts about the race weekend in his column for the Spanish newspaper AS. Below you can find the complete translation.Despite pushing in Estoril to catch Dovizioso and Crutchlow, again I finished a lonely sixth. The MotoGP race was more fun on the bike than on TV, although watching Moto2 again it was tense and Moto3 was also interesting. Now the mind is set on football…
Spanish crowd. Hello again, friends! Estoril can almost be considered a Spanish Grand Prix, because the majority of the spectators is from Spain. A lot of people came. With the reduced ticket prices and the good weather, many people came for support and especially the “Fan’s Club” who supported me very strongly from the grandstands in the last corner. I felt a lot of passion from the spectators at the circuit where I achieved good results in the small classes and this gave me a lot of motivation.
Feeling. We were lucky, because the forecasts weren’t good for the weekend, with rain and cold temperatures, but it stayed dry without a single raindrop. My feeling from the first practice was very positive and I was confident to do a good race, especially after qualifying for the second row. In the warm up the track changed compared to Saturday. The grip increased and laptimes were faster than the day before. It was a bit strange, because it seemed easier to go faster, but the problem was that this wasn’t just the case for me, the others rode faster, too. What a shame, right? Haha.
The 33. I knew that the start and the first laps were crucial. Well, that’s always the case in this class and if you lose a bit at the beginning, you can’t make it up in the whole race. And that’s because the laptimes, aside from the first three, are very, very similar. I tried to start well and I did, only in the first and second lap when I didn’t feel completely okay with the front tyre, it didn’t really help me turn the bike, I lost some time. Bridgestone gave us a new tyre, it’s called the 33 and before that the 21, which works better (it did in Jerez). The trouble is that we only have two of those tyres per Grand Prix. You use one for the qualifying and the other one for the race, so you don’t have much time to work with it. If I’m honest, I felt the same when I used it in the qualifying, but I thought it was because I was used to the other tyre and had to get used to this one. But no, until they’re not used a bit, the bike wouldn’t turn well.
Sixth. After the first laps and riding in sixth, I tried to push to catch Dovizioso and Crutchlow, who were a second and a half ahead. There was no way, we rode very similar laptimes and at first I didn’t lose or gain anything. I made a couple of mistakes by trying to push it more and I was losing ground, which made Rossi come a little closer to me, so I decided to concentrate on not making mistakes and I could increase the distance to finish lonely sixth again. It’s not bad, maybe I expected better, but it’s only the third race and we still have to optimize a few little details which give us a few tenths per lap. This is what’s needed to fight for fourth place and I know we’ll get there.
For excitement, Moto2. When I saw the repeat of the race, it seemed a bit boring when compared with the other two classes. During the race I have more fun riding, haha! In Moto2, if you do get nervous, what a story until the end, what a race between Marc and Pol, how they fought for victory. Very brave, those two. I congratulate them, because both deserved to win. If things continue like this, the championship will be fought out between those two. In Moto3 it was also interesting for the victory and the podium. Cortese won in a final lap with backmarkers in the middle of the last corner. I think that affected Viñales, without taking any credit from the winner, but he could have pushed with the slipstream. And very good by Salom, who’s now a regular on the podium.
Continue support. And after the tests we had scheduled for Monday at Estoril were cancelled because of the rain, I’m on for a week of rest and physical training until the next race at Le Mans. I don’t like that circuit much, short and twisty, with very cold temperatures, but it’s the one we go to with well-charged batteries to see if we get closer to the front. I wish Edwards a quick recovery from his injury. And tonight I’ll go to cheer on my Atletico Madrid in the final against Athletic. Good luck to both teams. I’ll see you in a couple of weeks. Have a good time!