Rizla Suzuki racer Álvaro Bautista produced a battling and mature race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to bring his Suzuki GSV-R home in a respectable eighth place.
Bautista got boxed in at the start and was relegated to 14th at the end of the first lap; he quickly got on the pace and was able to pass some riders with relative ease. He caught up with Marco Simoncelli at half-distance and had a tremendous battle with the Italian for the rest of the race. Bautista tried a number of times to overtake his old adversary, but was unable to find the opportunity to get past – mainly due to the condition of the Indianapolis circuit in the places where Bautista was sure he could make a move and his determination to get to the finish line and complete the race.
Today’s race was held in very warm conditions with air temperatures getting up to 35ºC and track surfaces hitting 56ºC. A crowd of 62,794 saw Dani Pedrosa win the race with home favourite and pole setter Ben Spies in second, World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo was third.
Rizla Suzuki now heads across the Atlantic for the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix to be staged at Misano in Italy next weekend on Sunday 5th September.
“It was a hard and very difficult race because it was so hot that you could feel the heat coming from the bike and from the ground. It made it a very physical race, but that was also a good test for me to see how my body had healed and at the end I still felt strong. I lost a few places at the start, but I was able to overtake other riders very quickly and I got behind Kallio and decided to follow him because he had a good rhythm and I didn’t want to use all my energy with a long race ahead. We caught up to Simoncelli and I knew I was faster than Kallio so it was better to pass him and catch Simoncelli on my own. I saw two points on the track where I could then get past Simoncelli, but they were both very risky because they were very bumpy. I tried to get past in turn 10 but it was just too dangerous to go past because it was so bumpy and I wanted to finish the race – as it had been a long time since I’d done that. I finished in the top 10 and we did a good job through the whole weekend. This morning we made a big change in the gearbox and that worked very well for me. I am happy with the weekend and the team worked fantastic, we have another race next week and I’m looking forward to that already.”
Tom O’Kane – Álvaro Bautista’s Crew Chief:
“Álvaro rode a really solid race today, at a track that hasn’t been very good to us in the past, so that is a very promising thing to take forward as we move to tracks where our bike has gone better in the past. We are really happy to get a finish and get through a whole race weekend without the dramas that we have had recently. Álvaro made a big change to his gearbox this morning in the warm-up and we were able to see an improvement in his lap-times immediately – especially in the second sector of the lap – and he adapted to the different pattern of the box very quickly and that also showed in the race. Overall he rode a good race and had a tough battle with Simoncelli, it’s neither here-nor-there whether he got past him or not, but it was very important to get into the top-10 and for him to come away from here with a lot more confidence in his own ability and that of the bike.”
Source: Rizla Suzuki MotoGP