Ãlvaro Bautista kicked off the first test of 2011 on the new Rizla Suzuki contender, after a 2 month break during the winter testing ban, in the first day of testing at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia. This seasons lone Suzuki rider ran with the new specification engine, a new chassis and even completed back to back runs on the 2011 spec Ohlins front forks.
As an added bonus, the team managed to complete a full days testing, as the scheduled Malaysian rain never came, and the Spaniard finished 6th behind the days overall leader, Repsol Honda‘s Casey Stoner. The team will be back in action tomorrow with many new parts still to be evaluated.
“Well, it's been a long time since Valencia and on my first laps I thought Suzuki made a mistake and fitted a 1000cc engine in the bike, it feels so fast after a long break!” said Bautista after the session. “But, after some easy laps, I began to get my rhythm and to ride comfortably. We did some interesting testing, but to be honest the main thing today was just for me to get back to a normal level, and in the end the bike felt nice and we went quite quick, so I'm happy.” he continued.
“I hope the weather stays dry, we have a big list of stuff to test and I know the guys will be working late tonight to prepare everything for tomorrow – thanks to them and I am looking forward to continuing our work.” he added