Rizla Suzuki‘s Álvaro Bautista has completed day one of the final pre-season test in Qatar, ahead of the opening round next weekend. To start off the evening test, under the floodlights Bautista tested some new geometry settings and a new front fork setting which gave the engineers something to base the second half of the session around.

After the mid session break Bautista then did a full race distance as the temperatures cooled. 22 laps later the team and Bautista had valuable data with which to setup the GSV-R for next weekend. Bautista finished 12th on the timesheet after completing 61 laps.

“Today has been a lot of hard work and we are certainly clearer about some things for the race next week.” said Bautista. “We started the day with the softer compound tyres, but I didn't feel very good on the exit of the corners because my bike was spinning a lot and I couldn't open full gas on every corner. We tried to modify the spin control level and the software to get more from the grip levels and this helped a lot. I also tried the harder tyres, but it was also difficult to go fast with them at the beginning, so we made some changes to the bike and it was easier to go faster and I made my best lap of the day with those tyres.”

He continued. “I did a long run at the end with the soft tyre because I wanted to know if it has the durability for the race, but my feeling was not too good because after a few laps it started to move around and was a lot more difficult to control than the harder one. We have made some good steps today because we have a very clear idea what we need to improve and tomorrow we will try a long run with the harder tyre to see how that performs. We hope we can get the maximum grip from the rear because this is the key point to go fast here.”