Alvaro Bautista was fast and consistent throughout, eventually sealing the fifth fastest time and a second row start for tomorrow’s race. Michele Pirro was close to being the fastest CRT, giving Team San Carlo Honda Gresini plenty of optimism ahead of their home race.
Bautista was involved in the battle for pole, the Spaniard moving up to second behind Lorenzo with ten minutes remaining before slipping to fifth, a slender 0.078s behind Stefan Bradl. Fifth on the grid is Bautista’s best qualifying result since he took pole at June’s British GP. It signals a return to form from the former 125cc World Champion who has regained some of his earlier confidence, thanks in part to some Showa suspension upgrades received here.
Alvaro Bautista (5th 1’34”299) “Today we were finally able to get a dry session in and make some changes to the bike that addressed the problems we’ve been having in recent races. I feel like I have more confidence with the bike now and even though it is still moving around under braking it is not as bad as before and my feeling is better. We were able to maintain a strong pace throughout the session and set the laptime without taking big risks. The second row is positive and now I am feeling confident with the bike. It will be important to start well and stay in touch with the lead group and get back to the level we were at a few races ago. I want to thank all the guys, because they have done a great job and I hope I can give them a great result at their home track.”
Fausto Gresini “What a great day! Alvaro rode well and we were able to try a new suspension package from Showa that worked well and that was important for us. Alvaro has more confidence in the bike and is able to get more out of it. His pace is good and if we can improve in the one part of the track where he’s struggling I am confident of a good race tomorrow.”
Source: Gresini Racing / Honda Pro Racing