Alvaro Bautista is hoping to the summer weather returns next weekend at Mugello after struggling in the cold and damp conditions during Saturday's TT Assen. The Rizla Suzuki rider struggled for grip all weekend and that problem reared its head again in the race as he finished over a minute and a half off the lead in 11th.
The Spaniard added that the team had been working all weekend to solve the problem but failed to make the necessary progress to make the GSV-R easier to ride.
“There was no big change in the race from the practice sessions, I still struggled for grip and found it hard to push. For the start of the race we went with the slick tyres, even though it was a little bit wet on the back of the track, but this was the best decision as the threatened rain never came.”
“From the beginning to the end I never had a good feeling on the bike and it was always the same problem for the whole weekend – rear grip was nothing and entering the corners was very difficult. During the race I tried to push to get into the top-10, but each corner seemed very risky and it felt like the tyre was on ice sometimes! Anyway, I'm looking forward to Mugello – hotter temperatures, a great track and we can do much better there.”
Team manager Paul Denning felt Saturday's race exposed a flaw in the control tyre regulations, and hopes the situation will be back to normal at Mugello next weekend.
“Today has been a very difficult race to top-off a disappointing weekend. It could have been worse, in that Ãlvaro kept it on two wheels and brought the bike home safely – unlike many unfortunate riders this weekend. The conditions in yesterday's qualifying were a bit warmer, but in the extremely cold and drizzly conditions this afternoon it seemed to cost us a lot more in contact feel, grip and confidence for the rider than it did for some of the other guys. Ãlvaro is looking forward to a much better situation in Mugello next weekend, but the combination of bike, rider and riding style simply didn't put anywhere near enough energy into the rear tyre to give us the grip we needed today. The control tyre situation has a lot of positives, but on occasions like today – when even the softer of the two tyres is way too hard for our rider – it makes it impossible to compete.”