Suzuki racers Alvaro Bautista and Toni Elias took to the track this week for official MotoGP testing.
Former 125cc world champion, Bautista, is the sole Rizla Suzuki rider this year as he embarks on his second season in the elite class. The Spaniard, using a new design on his Shoei X-Spirit II for this test, was suffering from flu for the second consecutive test but remains positive.
Alvaro Bautista, Rizla Suzuki: “It seems like at this moment the bike has better durability than the rider! This has been bad luck to get sick at two consecutive tests – I feel very drained but I am confident that I will be ok tomorrow after maybe 12 hours sleep! But there was also some positive points today – my best lap was with race distance already completed on the tyres, so for sure I can go quicker with new tyres but today my condition was not the best for a ‘qualifying’ style lap. I’m frustrated but happy – we have improved the Suzuki quite a lot since the end of 2010.”
Reigning Moto2 champion, Elias, is still getting reacquainted with MotoGP power on his LCR Honda RC212V after a season onboard a 600cc. The Spaniard suffered a bout of flu during the test session held at the track earlier in the month, but is now healthy, upbeat and motivated at the task ahead.
Toni Elias, LCR Honda: “We still have a lot of work to do because I am struggling to find the right setting for me but this is normal as I am continuing my adaptation to the RCV.”
The three day test concludes today (February 24, 2011).
Courtest of the Team Suzuki Press Office – February 2.
Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista continued the first test of 2011 in encouraging form today by recording his fastest ever time at the 5’548m Sepang circuit.
Shoei racer Bautista clocked a time of 2’01.687 during the morning session of today’s test, faster than his qualifying time at last-year’s Malaysian Grand Prix. He completed 63 laps and finished in eighth place on the time-sheets, 0.917 from the quickest but only 0.253 from second place.
The team was again able to evaluate many new developments to the Suzuki GSV-R, including different chassis and rear swing-arm, and to make comparisons between previous parts and updated components for the machine. Bautista was happy with his day’s work and is looking forward to finishing the test on a positive note. Today’s fastest time was set by Dani Pedrosa on his factory Honda.
Rizla Suzuki has one more day at Sepang in which it plans to complete race simulation runs as well as continuing with the remainder of its intensive test schedule.
“Immediately I left the pit lane this morning the feeling was more normal than yesterday – after my first day back at work it was easier to understand everything. On my first run I set a good lap-time and this was very close to the fastest guys, except Dani who made a real qualifying lap! Much more important was that I could make high 2.01 lap-times with very old tyres, and my rhythm felt good. Also, I tried three different chassis today and the results of that test were quite clear, and we have made an improvement to front feeling and turning. The engineers have also done some good work with the traction control and this is helping me get out of the corners more smoothly.
“Anyway, now I am quite tired after 63 laps and I didn’t push for a fast time at the end of the day like many guys did – it’s more important to understand the bike on old tyres. I am very happy with the developments Suzuki has made, and I’m enjoying myself – I think we can have some fun this season!”
MotoGP Official Test Sepang ( Day 2): 1.Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 2’00.770: 2. Casey Stoner (Honda) +0.664: 3. Ben Spies (Yamaha) +0.738: 4. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) +0.742: 5. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) +0.752: 8. Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP) +0.917.