Alvaro Bautista took a fine sixth place in front of his home supporters at Aragon after a spirited ride from 11th on the grid. The Rizla Suzuki rider prevailed after an entertaining battle with Nicky Hayden and Hector Barbera to finish in the top eight for the third race in succession, but his chances didn't look good after a poor start.
“Today we had very different conditions from the practice and the temperature was much lower. I wanted to have a good race in front of my home fans, so I pushed as hard as I could to make the bike and tyres work right from the beginning, but I didn't get a good start and other riders got in my way in the first corner and it was quite difficult to overtake early on. I got up to Hector and Nicky we had a big battle and fought a lot between us and when I got into sixth the riders in front were very far away and I was still fighting with the other two, so I couldn't get a good rhythm. In the last laps I made a break from the other two and was able to ride more consistently and smoother and pull away to secure the sixth place.”
Sixth matches Bautista's best result in dry conditions this year but he later admitted he could have finished higher. Unsettled weather conditions brought much colder temperatures and the Spaniard felt that cost him a shot at the podium.
“It was a good result, but I think if the conditions had been the same as qualifying we had the potential to be with the group fighting for podium positions. I am happy with all we have done this weekend and looking forward to the next race and to continue with this work.”
Team Manager Paul Denning also believes Bautista could have challenged the Yamahas for third had he made a better start but hopes their time will come at Motegi in two weeks time.
“Another strong race performance by Ãlvaro, he again kept things tidy and used controlled aggression to climb from a fourth row start to a sixth placed finish. We are really happy with Ãlvaro's efforts and the performance of the GSV-R, and the focus continues to be the same as it has been – that is to qualify better and get more out of the fresh tyres at the start of the race. Those two things are definitely connected, in that if we qualify better and are following the quick guys in the early laps we have a much better chance of hanging in there with them. I think Motegi will suit Ãlvaro and the Suzuki, and we are looking forward to giving Suzuki's Japanese fans something to remember when we go there next month.”