Alvaro Bautista is confident that he can improve on ninth place after declaring himself happy with his first day's running at the Sachsenring. The Rizla Suzuki rider was 1.036s away from pacesetter Marco Simoncelli on Friday afternoon but feels there is room for improvement tomorrow.
Bautista admitted to struggling for grip on the harder tyre but is expecting those problems to be ironed out when the track rubbers in further.
“Today has been a good day, because finally the rain didn't make an appearance! This morning it was quite difficult because the track was cold and grip was at a minimum. I took it careful and just got the feel of the bike because I didn't want to crash like some of the other guys did. This afternoon we tried different combinations of tyres to get the best mix for the bike. I started with a used set of soft ones from this morning's session and then changed to harder ones on the front and rear. These didn't give me such a good feeling and I swapped the front for a soft and this was better. The rear worked well, but I still had some sliding from the left side and found it difficult to get a good line through the corners.”
“I felt I had a good rhythm throughout the whole practice and I think that I can certainly improve quite a bit tomorrow, especially if the conditions are better as this will give us more grip from the rear and we will have a good opportunity to move forward.”
Rizla Suzuki team manager Paul Denning was also encouraged at their prospects for the weekend, adding that the team is in better shape than it has been all season long.
“It's a Grand Prix weekend and the weather looks changeable, so nothing at all new there! That said, today was probably our best first day of the season so far. Ãlvaro showed solid pace in both sessions and he had a particularly strong final run in FP2 using the harder of the two rear tyres. There's no doubt that for our bike, and Ãlvaro, the soft rear tyre will produce a better lap-time, so we've got a good base to work on. Ãlvaro looks very confident throwing the bike around this tight circuit and without question the latest generation GSV-R is quite a big improvement here at Sachsenring compared to previous seasons.”