Rizla Suzuki had mixed fortunes in qualifying for tomorrows Japanese Grand Prix. The leading Suzuki was that of Ãlvaro Bautista who will line up in 9th. The Spaniard equalled his best qualifying performance after making steady improvements throughout every practice session. The last time Bautista started 9th, he finished the race in 5th place, so he will be hoping for more of the same around Motegi.
“The qualifying was not too bad because we needed to do a good time to get the best position to make a good start on Sunday and we achieved that although we would have liked to be a bit further up the grid.” said Bautista after qualifying.
“Today we started qualifying with a used tyre from this morning's session and I did a constant rhythm and the feeling was good. We made a small change which didn't work so we went back to this morning's set up and straight away it felt better. I tried to find someone to follow, but it felt like I was alone on the track, so I concentrated on my own riding to make sure I did my best.” He continued
“The position is ok, but I think we can run further towards the front. The weather tomorrow could be wet so it will be important to get a good start and stay with the front group. I feel positive for tomorrow, even if it rains, because we have a good bike for the wet. I will give it full gas and push to the maximum to get a good result for Suzuki in its home Grand Prix.”
Veteran Loris Capirossi had a torrid time in qualifying, after crashing towards the end of the session, but despite this, the Italian will start 10th. And after some impressive practice times, Capirossi will be hoping for a better result in the race.
And at the end of the session, he was still ruing his mistake. “I am a little bit upset by my mistake, because I started with the harder tyre and the rhythm was so good and I felt really confident on the bike. I fell off on turn one, there is one big bump there and I hit that and lost the front. I also lost a bit of confidence after that when I jumped on the other bike, I tried to keep my rhythm, but I just didn't have the same feeling with that machine.”
Even after rejoining, Loris still wasn’t happy, “I struggled with a bit of feeling at the front and I didn't feel I could push as much as I wanted because I didn't want to risk crashing again. The potential for us is good here and the bike is working well – I am very optimistic for the race and I think we can get a very positive result.”