Alvaro Bautista was rated his German Grand Prix ride among his best of the season of coming out on top in a fierce battle with Ducati pair Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi.
The Rizla Suzuki rider succeeded in his objective to be the best of the rest behind the factory Honda and Yamaha entries which dominated the race, but not without a fight from the Ducatis who raced him right all the way to the finish line.
Going into the final lap, Bautista trailed both Desmosedici machines going into the final lap but dived past both in the space of three corners in the final sector of the lap. The 26 year old admitted the race gave him huge satisfaction and hopes he can carry the momentum into Laguna Seca.
“I am happy with today's result because it was a fun race and I am quite pleased with where we finished. At the beginning I had to try and get a good start, because in the first corner you have to be very careful with other riders. I got a decent start and was in a good position just behind the top riders, but I was a bit too far away from them, and my rhythm wasn't quite as quick, so I couldn't quite stay with them.”
“I got involved with the two Ducati guys and really enjoyed the race with them. At the end it was very difficult to overtake Valentino and Nicky because they brake very hard and very late, making it tough to get past. On the last lap I overtook Valentino at the end of the main straight. I then followed Nicky and waited for the last two corners because I knew I had an opportunity there to get him. I had to brake with everything I had to get past him on corner 12, but I ran a bit wide and lost some speed, Nicky overtook me on the last corner, but he entered too quickly and he went out, so I got past him on the exit of the corner. I am very happy that we are the first finisher after the top six because they are on a different level at the moment. For the next race I hope to continue with this way of working and get closer to the top.”
Team manager Paul Denning was particularly encouraged by the performance of the GSV-R and is fascinated to see how it will perform on the similarly short Laguna Seca circuit next weekend.
“I think we showed this weekend at Sachsenring – a track that has traditionally been very tough for Suzuki – that both the GSV-R and the rider have made good steps in 2011 – despite the bad luck and huge injury at the start of the season. The high-speed crash that Ãlvaro suffered at the end of warm-up this morning was not ideal race preparation and it might have had a small effect on his ultimate pace, but nonetheless he dug deep and a rode a very entertaining and aggressive 30-laps.”
“Maybe with a better qualifying position – which we have to keep working on – or with a luckier first couple of laps, he might have been able to tow along on the back of the fastest riders. We won't know if that could have been the case until we get the opportunity again at Laguna Seca next week. It was an incredibly competitive race today, all the top riders finished and we were beaten by only the four Factory Hondas and the two Factory Yamahas – this weekend has definitely been a step in the right direction.”