Spanish bike magazine Solo Moto has published a new short interview with Alvaro on their website, supposedly conducted right after the second Sepang test, talking about the preseason so far and the progress of the Suzuki GSV-R.
Solo Moto: What’s your evaluation of the three-day test in Sepang?
Álvaro Bautista: We focused more on the big changes from the other test – chassis, engine, suspension – and this time we tried to refine the solutions we found. The balance is positive. I have a good feeling with the bike event though physically I wasn’t well, because I almost didn’t sleep at all in the first night. But little by little we’re finding little things that move us forward.
SM: The Hondas were in another world.
AB: Yes, it’s incredible how the Hondas were going, especially the four official ones. They did well in the first test and in the second they were brilliant. It’s a huge difference. In fact Spies, who was the first not on a Honda, is half a second faster than me. We are not further away than usual, but now Honda is very strong and it will be difficult to beat them.
SM: It’s always been said that the Suzuki was the worst bike. That role now seems to be taken by Ducati.
AB: To be honest, I think the Ducati is still pretty much the same as last year. I don’t think they’ve gotten much worse. Just from the outside – because it surely looks different from the inside – you see that it’s a bike that can be fast, but it is very difficult to set up. If we take away Stoner, who went fast at all circuits, for example Hayden last year was able to get a podium and in the next race he’d be outside the top ten. Maybe in this aspect our bike is more constant in all circuits.
SM: Are you happy with the work of the factory?
AB: When we finished the season, between my crew chief and me, we discussed some things which could be improved without being major changes, they are little things which made the bike a little more complete. It is also a fact that we are trying to be competitive at every circuit. At Malaysia, in all training sessions it more or less works. But when we get to the colder circuits we have problems. And that’s what we’re working on. Already in Valencia we went more or less decent considering the cold conditions there, so I think we’re getting there.
SM: What about the new electronics?
AB: Suzuki brought some new software to the test, Aoki tested it the first day and I used it on the second. Since it’s new it has a lot of room for improvement. The first feeling is that I liked it, but from here there’s a lot more to develop. I guess in Qatar we will work more in that area and I asked them to see if they can give me a little more top speed, because we still lack a bit there. In the winter we focused our work on the chassis and electronics, trying to find more grip and maybe we lack a little power.
Source: Solo Moto
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