Alvaro Bautista is praying for a dry weekend at the Catalunya Grand Prix as he looks to get the best out of the San Carlo Gresini Honda. The Spaniard has been gradually improving in his first season with the team but struggled in the wet conditions at Le Mans, finishing down in tenth place.
Bautista believes he is getting stronger and stronger in dry conditions and hopes to prove that with a strong showing at Barcelona.
“We did a good job in the dry conditions in France to improve our feeling with the bike and close the gap to the top guys. Unfortunately the feeling wasn’t as good in the wet and we really struggled for grip so we know we have improvements to make if we get those conditions again. I also had some problems with my visor so it was just a case of coming home with as many points as we could manage. Now we go to Catalunya and a circuit that I like and feel at home at. We will continue with the work we started in France and try to close that gap to the front still further. Obviously we will have to wait and see what the weather does but I am sure we will get normal conditions and be able to rediscover the confidence in the bike that we found at Le Mans. I am determined to get that positive feeling back and put the French race behind us.”
“MontmelÃ² is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar because it is fast and technical, with long sweeping corners where you can get the rear sliding. There are also some big braking zones so we’ll need to find a stable setting for the bike and the correct tyres because it is a circuit that works the right hand side very hard.”
Teammate Michele Pirro experienced similar issues with his FTR-Honda, feeling much less at ease when the rain came, and with some improvements to his CRT machine, is hopeful of adding to the four points he's collected so far this year.
“I am still disappointed with the race at Le Mans. The weather ruined it for us because we really struggled in the wet, which was a shame because in the dry we would have been fighting with the top CRT bikes. I was looking forward to seeing how we got on but it wasn’t to be. Right now we’re just hoping for nice weather in Barcelona and to rediscover the positive feeling we had with the bike at Le Mans. We have some new things to try this weekend so I am really looking forward to getting out on the track. It is a great track and it should suit our bike so I am sure we can have a good race this weekend.”