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Bautista seventh and on the pace in the Californian sun

Bautista seventh and on the pace in the Californian sun

Álvaro Bautista followed on from his strong performance last weekend in Germany to produce his best first day’s performance of the season so far at Laguna Seca today.

Bautista (P7, 1’23.056, 49 laps), was in constant touch with the top-six through the afternoon session, even though he couldn’t find the rear grip from his Rizla Suzuki that he wanted over the 3,610m American circuit. He worked hard with his crew to get the levels of adhesion that he is looking for to make the next step up and compete with the group in front of him. Bautista still believes there is more to come from him and his machine over the rest of the weekend and is in a confident mood as he heads towards tomorrow’s qualifying session.

Today’s afternoon practice was held in brilliant sunshine with cloudless skies covering the Laguna Seca Raceway. Bautista is only one second off first place and will be looking to break into a 1’22 lap tomorrow, a feat which was only achieved by the top-six today.

Álvaro Bautista:
“This morning the track was very cold so we started with the softer tyres and from the beginning it felt like we didn’t have very much grip from the rear when entering a corner. The contact feeling wasn’t quite right so we worked on improving that and we also tried some different electronics settings for the spin control. In the second session the track temperatures had increased so we used the harder compound tyres, but we seemed to have the same problem as this morning with corner entry grip. This didn’t give me a good feeling and made me slower in the corner and on the exit than I wanted to be. We worked hard to try and resolve it but we didn’t quite manage it, so it gives us something to work towards tomorrow. My lap-times and rhythm were not too bad though and I was able to follow some fast guys quite easily, so this is a good sign. I hope that tomorrow we can improve on the rear grip and do some work on the gearbox, because we are not at our maximum here just yet. So we have a lot of work to do on Saturday, but at the moment I am very confident because my feeling is positive like it was last week in Germany.”

MotoGP, 2011, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX, Alvaro Bautista, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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