Rizla Suzuki’s solo entrant to this weekends Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, Ãlvaro Bautista suffered disappointment instead of joy after having a chance to shine with Loris Capirossi out injured. The young Spaniard started well from 14th on the grid and by the end of lap 1 he was up to 11th.
However, despite this rapid rise through the field, Bautista was then left to settle into a race of his own, chasing down Mika Kallio in 10th. However, Bautista then came under pressure of his own from Randy De Puniet. De Puniet managed to squeeze past both riders and as the 3 raced for the line, Kallio also got past, with Bautista missing out on a top 10 finish by just 0.097s.
“I knew that today would be a difficult race and I would really have to ride at my maximum to get anything from it.” said Bautista
“I got a good start and felt good into the first corner, I was able to overtake other riders but I didn't really have a good enough rhythm straight away and lost some positions and time. At the end of the race I was in a great battle with de Puniet and Kallio and we fought hard with each other in the last laps.”
“On the last lap I passed de Puniet on the outside of turn seven and I got into 10th. On the last corner I tried to close the inside line so they couldn't get past me and as I was about 40 metres from the finish line I felt the bike lose a bit of power and speed and I lost two places. I don't know if the bike had a problem or not, but today I felt like I finished 10th, but the bike was 12th!” he continued.
“It is not a good result compared to the last races, but here we knew that it would be a difficult weekend. I would liked to have finished in the top 10 because that result for Suzuki here would have been a very good one, but at the end – because of the bike – I could not finish there. We now have to work very hard in the next two races and I can't wait to get to Portugal and get riding again to forget the result here.”