He eventually qualified tenth after sliding off in the crucial late stages of qualifying when he was riding hard to get closer to the front of the grid. A superb third at Motegi, Bautista is lacking rear grip here.
Alvaro Bautista (10th 2’01”640) “This morning we tried to improve our feeling with the bike from yesterday, but we only partly managed it. In the afternoon we continued to work in the same way, but rear traction was still an issue and the small progress we made wasn’t enough to improve our position before the crash. There were a lot of riders on track at the same time and nobody wanted to give anybody else a tow, so we lost some time there and when I tried to push again the tyre temperature had dropped and I lost control. Luckily I wasn’t hurt, but the bike needs rebuilding and I am sorry to the team for the extra work. It will be a tough race tomorrow, but I am confident that we have found some solutions today that should work. ”
Fausto Gresini “Alvaro’s crash was disappointing, especially because it means we will be starting from so far back at a circuit he likes a lot. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow, but I can’t deny that I’m a little concerned. “
Sources: Gresini Racing / Honda Pro Racing