Alvaro Bautista led the chasing pack behind the top two manufacturers on Friday at Misano despite suffering in the build-up to the weekend with illness. The Spaniard received treatment in the medical centre after complaining of an upset stomach and admitted to feeling much better in the afternoon, finishing in seventh place.
“I think we did a good job today! This morning we started at the same sort of pace that we had in qualifying last year, so that gave us a good base to begin with for the weekend. The feeling with the bike was quite good, but I did not feel very well because I had been a bit ill yesterday – I think it was an upset stomach from something I had to eat. Thanks to the guys at Clinica Mobile because in the afternoon session I was feeling much better.”
The day didn't run completely smoothly for the Rizla Suzuki squad though with Bautista suffering an engine failure in the early stages of FP2. The team were forced to switch their new developments to the spare GSV-R and Bautista was proud of their effort.
“We wanted to test a new swinging arm in the second session and I started on the bike with the standard setting, but after three laps my engine said 'stop!' and I couldn't continue with that bike, so I jumped on the other machine- with the new swinging arm. The feeling was good and we were able to turn a little bit better in the corners and this is good because this is what we wanted to improve. I think we have made a step forward and now I am sure we can improve the lap-time and the rhythm. We are not so far from the first place and I am quite happy about that. Thanks to all the crew for their hard work today after the long trip straight back from Indianapolis.”
Team Manager Paul Denning was unconcerned by the engine failure, adding that it was nearing the end of its' life anyway.
“I think we can be happy with the performances today of both Ãlvaro and the Suzuki GSV-R. We made some further detailed changes compared to the Indianapolis weekend and so far everything we have done has taken the bike forward a little bit each time. Unfortunately we lost our first engine of the year – there was definitely no hiding from that! But it was very much a Friday engine that had already covered a lot of miles so it wasn't completely unexpected. We'll just keep pushing and try to improve tomorrow, and then something special in qualifying.”