Qatar debrief with Alvaro Bautista’s crew chief Antonio Jimenez
The first Grand Prix of the season, at the floodlit Losail International Circuit, didn’t finish in the best way for Alvaro Bautista, who crashed on lap 21 whilst challenging for a podium position aboard the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda RC213V.
Nevertheless, the Spaniard has been an absolute protagonist of the race weekend from the first free practice session, missing the pole position in qualifying by just 57 thousandths of a second and setting the fastest lap of the race in 1’55”575.
Waiting to get back in action at the Circuit of the Americas, in Texas, for the next Grand Prix, Alvaro’s crew chief Antonio Jimenez explains what kind of work he did at Qatar…
ANTONIO JIMENEZ (Alvaro Bautista Crew Chief)
“In this first Grand Prix of the year we’ve been able to take advantage of the good things that had emerged during the winter testing, improving at the same time some other aspects. Since the first free practice session Alvaro felt at ease; in qualifying we missed the pole position for a few thousandths and we were ready to do a good race, thanks to a very consistent bike, even with regard to the use of the tyres. Sunday we have proved it: Alvaro, despite losing some positions at the start, managed to recover, placing himself in the leading group . We couldn’t finish the race, but we leave Qatar with a good feeling, knowing that we have a winning package: we have battled with the best and we have made the most of the new Bridgestone tyres, so I think we can be competitive also in the next Grand Prix. The Honda RC213V is very fast and we have achieved an excellent level of performance in all areas. We’re good with electronics, both in terms of power delivery and engine brake, but I would say that the biggest step forward has been done on the suspension side. This is our third year of collaboration with Showa and we are reaping the fruits of the excellent work done in the first two seasons together. Compared to the end of 2013, we had made a further step ahead with the introduction of the new rear shock, at the last Sepang test. During this race we only suffered a slight problem with the brakes, which had never occurred in practice: we will work together with Nissin to improve this aspect. Finally, the consumption: we were able to manage really well the 20 litres of fuel working on engine mappings, limiting the sliding of the rear wheel. Unfortunately, we didn’t finish the race, but two laps from the end the situation was under control. We are satisfied: having shown a good performance on a track traditionally difficult for us is not a coincidence”.
Source: Gresini Racing