Bautista hoping to quickly regain confidence after “worst afternoon of preseason testing”
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) was the fastest rider at Jerez today, the final day of the final pre-season outing before MotoGP’s new 1000cc era roars into race action in Qatar on April 8. The Australian bettered 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) by 0.173s. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) was a close third fastest, just 0.377s behind his team-mate Stoner.
After yesterday’s testing was spoiled by rain, Lorenzo was fastest for most of today. Stoner inched closer to the Spaniard this afternoon, then dropped his pace by another two tenths to move in front with just ten minutes remaining. His best lap was 0.951s inside the Jerez lap record, established by Pedrosa aboard his 800cc RC212V during the 2010 Spanish Grand Prix.
Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) is all set to race a Honda MotoGP bike for the first time after setting the ninth fastest time at Jerez, one place ahead of MotoGP rookie and reigning Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V). Bautista fell earlier today, but was able to continue riding and honing his setup with his Gresini crew.
The 2012 MotoGP season gets underway for real with first practice at Losail on Thursday April 5. As usual, the action in Qatar takes place in the evening and under the floodlights.
Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V): 9th, 1m 40.017s
“It hasn’t been a great day for us. We started out well and tried some interesting electronic solutions this morning, as well as two different Bridgestone tyres, to try and work out which gave me the most confidence. Then in the afternoon we were doing a race simulation when I crashed not once but twice, when the front let go without warning. I still don’t know what happened exactly and naturally that damaged my confidence in the front and I couldn’t push to the limit as I would have liked. Anyway, we are not losing faith because we found some good things and now we just have to prepare for the first race in the best way we can. Racing at night in Qatar is not easy but I still feel confident even after the worst afternoon of preseason testing. My feeling with the team is perfect and I am sure they will help me to recover the confidence I lost today.”
Source: Honda Pro Racing