Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista made progress on the second day of action at Motegi to find improved confidence with the front end of his Honda RC213V and qualify for the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s race. The team did a great job today and will try to take another step forward in the warm-up, which would surely give Alvaro a chance of fighting for the podium.
Bautista was among the leaders throughout the hour-long session before moving into fifth place, where he would finish in the middle of the second row. The last time Bautista started fifth, at the San Marino Grand Prix, he earned his first MotoGP podium.
Today he worked on front suspension, a critical setting on the hard braking course 4.801Km course. The work is especially critical for Bautista, the only rider in MotoGP using Showa suspension.
Saturday’s qualifying weather in Motegi was ideal, as it has been all weekend, sunny and warm, though a chilly cloud came over the circuit near the end of the MotoGP session. With two days of dry, sunny track time, the riders were able to make the most of adapting to the stop-and-go circuit on the new 1000s. What they discovered is that the track was very hard on brakes, with temperatures exceeding 900C. And they also learned that the Honda RC213V was very fast in a straight line; Bradl had the fastest top speed of 309.1Km/h, with Pedrosa second at 306.9Km/h.
Alvaro Bautista (5th 1’45”481) “I think we have taken a good step forward today, because we made a couple of changes that helped the feeling with the front suspension even though it is not 100%. Now I have more confidence and I was able to push harder from the start and then have fun this afternoon. We have taken a step forward compared to Aragon and I am confident for tomorrow, because our pace is consistent. The only doubt I have is about the tyre life, but we’ll just try to get a good start and hang on to the guys at the front. I have to thank the guys in the team, because they have worked hard along with Showa to put me in a position to show my true potential.”
Fausto Gresini “That was an extremely good session for Alvaro who showed good race pace. We were a little unlucky in qualifying, because he was held back by a couple of people crashing and some slower riders, but a second row start is good and I am happy with it.”
Source: Gresini Racing / Honda Pro Racing