Álvaro Bautista Blog, Le Mans: I need to improve in the wet
After a disappointing end to a very promising weekend, Álvaro Bautista once again shared his thoughts about the latest Grand Prix in his column for Spanish newspaper AS. Below you can find the complete translation.
Once again I didn’t finish satisfied in Le Mans. In the free practices the bike improved, but in the qualifying when I started to push a little more I crashed. In the race I didn’t feel comfortable, so all I could do was to finish and get points. I hope that in Montmeló things will go better.
I could not enjoy. Good day, friends! How are you all? Me, to be honest, a little unhappy with the race in Le Mans. I had problems in the conditions we had in the race and couldn’t enjoy it the least. The complete opposite to the practice sessions of the previous days. I have nothing against this track, but I don’t know what’s happening, because I believe in all the years I’ve raced here I never finished satisfied, there’s always been something that didn’t let me go home content.
Change in FP1. I was eager to get back on the bike after Estoril, especially because of the cancellation of the test which we had after the Grand Prix, where we had planned to test little things which could help me to make up a few tenths, I wanted to see if they could really help us. Of course on a race weekend you can’t do test runs like in a real test, because you only have 45 minutes every time you go on track. But in the first free practice we made a change and I noticed an improvement, so we used that base and perfected it. Everything went well. We were closer to the laptime level of the fastest and actually in FP3 I was fifth and only 50 thousands of a second behind second place. Also in terms of positions I was always among the first, but for me the most important was that I felt much more comfortable and enjoyed more than in the first three races. It was clear that we had taken a step forward.
Searching a good setting. I knew that in the dry I could be more competitive, but I also knew since Friday that the race would be in the wet. I was hoping that maybe it would also rain on Saturday, so we can ride a bit on the wet and find a good setting. It did rain, but not enough and in the qualifying we made a few laps with the wet tyres although the track was almost completely dry. It didn’t help at all, because then we went out with slicks. At the beginning I was checking out the condition of the asphalt, because the grip wasn’t very good. Little by little I got more confident and when I started to push a little more I went down and lost the chance to get a good laptime and get at least on the second row for Sunday.
Blurry visor. In the end all the great work we did in the practice sessions helped us nothing for the race. In the warm up the bike didn’t have any grip in the wet and we changed something for the race. It improved somewhat, but it was much less comfortable to ride. Although I think it would have been easier had my helmet visor not been fogged up since the first lap. I could see absolute nothing. Of course that’s no excuse, but if I could have seen something at the start, surely the laptimes would have been much faster. In the first laps I lost a lot. But still, I wasn’t comfortable with the bike and I wasn’t as competitive as in the dry. All I could do was to finish the race and get some points. There is a lot of work to do to improve the feeling and the riding in the wet, but step by step I’m sure we’ll get there.
Crashes in Moto2 and Moto3. You saw that races in the wet are like a lottery, right? In Moto3 and Moto2 there were a lot of people who played, but only few got the prize. Until you haven’t taken the chequered flag, there’s nothihng guaranteed here. What a shame for the crashes of the Spaniards in Moto3 when they fought to win the race. But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. (Louis) Rossi, Moncayo and Rins surely didn’t care about the track conditions. Congratulations to the two Spaniards for their first world championship podium and also Rins in his debut year! Moto2 was more of the same, a race also marked by crashes. What a pity about Marquez’ crash, because Lüthi made up a lot of points and is very strong. The championship tightened up a lot, but there are still many races to go and Marc and Pol are fighting for the title.
And next, Montmeló. Now on to forget the bad and take away the good, because the next round is at home! Again we race in front of the fans. Hopefully this time the weather wil be good to enjoy a sunny weekend. I’ll go there with maximum motivation to keep improving and try to be closer to the front. Also, Montmeló is a circuit I like a lot and where I achieved good results. It brings back good memories. Have some happy two weeks until I’ll be back to write for you here. See you later!