There was little change from their free practice positions for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Alvaro Bautista and Michele Pirro today as they qualified on the third and fifth row of the grid for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island. Alvaro has a good race pace and is hopeful of gaining positions when the lights go out tomorrow afternoon.
It had been an eventful day for the Talaverano. The Spaniard struck a sea gull in morning practice, with the bird getting the worst of it. Bautista continued on and continued to improve his time in qualifying, right up until the rain forced him to settle for seventh.
Alvaro Bautista (7th 1’31”490) “We continued to work on the setting of the bike this morning without making major improvements from yesterday. In the afternoon we did some laps on used tyres and the pace was decent. On new tyres we were able to go a little faster and we were hoping to make at least a position up on the last outing and get on the second row, but it started to rain and I had to settle for seventh place. Anyway I am confident, because my race pace is good and apart from Stoner, who is on another planet, and maybe Lorenzo and Pedrosa who are also very fast we can match the others and fight for fourth or fifth place again. The start will be important then after that we’ll see!”
Fausto Gresini “It is a shame that Alvaro wasn’t able to break the second row today and the rain at the end was a real blow for us, because he didn’t get chance to make the most of the new tyre on his last exit. Anyway, his race pace is good and so I think he can have a decent race.”
Source: Gresini Racing, Honda Pro Racing