Bautista struggling to finish 8th at Laguna Seca
After making promising progress in qualifying yesterday, Team San Carlo Honda Gresini were unable to reap the fruits of their labour in the race, Alvaro Bautista struggling for confidence in the front end of his Honda RC213V, in particular after a crash this morning in warmup as well as once before during the weekend.
Bautista had a lonely ride to eighth as he struggled to find the right feeling with his bike. On his previous two visits to the track with Suzuki he had crashed in the race both times, being pushed out by Aleix Espargaro in his first visit, so it was important for him to just finish and go into the summer break with some confidence after a difficult time in the last few races.
He had started the year with solid performances, slowly working his way forward until a big change in the Catalunya post-race test significantly improved his feeling with the new bike and lead to his first MotoGP pole position and a very strong race at Silverstone where he had one hand on the podium until the final laps. A huge mistake at the next round in Assen however threw him backwards considerably. Losing any chances for that race after crashing out in the first corner and being penalised to start the next Grand Prix from the last position on the grid kicked off a series of races where he struggled to catch up with the front. Mugello looked to be his worst weekend of the year as he had big difficulties to use the full potential of the hard tyres which were to be used for the race, as advised by Bridgestone. He struggled even getting into the top ten and crashed three times during the weekend while he also had to deal with a dangerous faulty brake which left him without any possibility to stop the bike.
Álvaro and the team will now use the well-earned summer break to rest and continue training and attack the second half of the season with renewed confidence to climb up the positions in the championship once again.
Alvaro Bautista (8th) “I’m not sure why, but today the bike felt really unstable on the front. Maybe we made the wrong decision by going with the soft tyre. I tried to push it at the start, but I couldn’t brake hard and I was really struggling in corner entry. It’s strange, because we had good race pace with this tyre yesterday, but today it didn’t work. It hasn’t been a good weekend for us. Despite the positive signs yesterday it proved to be a difficult race today.
Fausto Gresini “After the crash in warm-up this morning it was important for Alvaro to finish the race here, because it wasn’t an easy situation for him. We have been suffering in the last few races and we need to help him find more confidence in the front of the bike. It is important we stay calm and work hard to achieve this, because there is still a long way to go in this championship. Of course the crash this morning didn’t help, because yesterday it looked like we had the pace to have a good race. Unfortunately for Michele there is not much we can say about his race because he collided with De Puniet in the first corner and crashed. It is not an easy time for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini but we have to be patient, look forwards and stay positive because at times like this it is important to grit your teeth and do everything possible to turn things around.”
Sources: Gresini Racing / Honda Pro Racing