Alvaro Bautista is pinning his race hopes on the durability of the soft tyre after showing impressive pace on that compound today. The Spaniard was second fastest behind Jorge Lorenzo but didn't show that kind of form on the hard tyre and is hoping the softer option will prove durable enough to use on race day.
“It has been a really good start and the guys have done a great job. This morning I was struggling for rear traction but this afternoon it improved a lot. I didn’t have a good feeling on the hard tyre no matter what we changed on the setting but on the soft tyre my pace was decent. Tomorrow we’ll try to see if we can do full race distance on the soft tyre because it would be a great option for us if we can. We’ll work in that direction tomorrow and hopefully we’ll get some joy but for now we’re happy anyway.”
San Carlo Honda Gresini teammate Michele Pirro was fifteenth on his FTR-Honda and was happy to be within a second of the leading CRT runners. He's also hopeful of getting even closer to the two Aspar riders tomorrow.
“Finally a bit of sunshine and warmth has provided the right conditions for us to work in. Today we were able to see that we are making big strides forward and from the morning to the afternoon we made progress to close the gap to the best CRT to just eight tenths. We have some ideas to reduce that gap further tomorrow and we will be working in that direction. We’ll also have a new chassis to try tomorrow so there’s every reason to think we can go faster. It won’t be easy but we are setting a good pace on soft and hard tyres so I am confident.”
Team Manager Fausto Gresini feels todays performances show that both riders are at home on machinery that was unfamiliar to them at the start of the year.
“It has been a positive day and it confirms Alvaro’s progress with the RC213V. It is nice to see one of our bikes up at the top of MotoGP again and it makes me very proud. We deserve it because of the professionalism and effort we put into the job, as do San Carlo because they have never lost faith in us. Tomorrow with a few small changes Alvaro can build on this result and improve again. We believe in him. The CRT project is also moving forward and the gap to the top gets smaller with every lap. We are making up some of the ground we lost at the start of the season through the hard work of the guys and the determination of Michele.”