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Bautista caught out by the weather at an unpredictable Phillip Island

Bautista caught out by the weather at an unpredictable Phillip Island

Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista crashed out of the Iveco Australian Grand Prix during a sudden rain-shower after he looked certain to claim his best dry finish of the season.

Starting from third on the grid, due to Jorge Lorenzo’s withdrawal because of an injury he sustained in the morning’s warm-up, Bautista was immediately involved in the battle for a podium position. The Spaniard got into a fight with Nicky Hayden that cost the pair some pace and by the time Bautista got past the American, Valentino Rossi had caught them to make it a three-way battle. Rossi tried to make a pass on Bautista, but crashed, causing the Suzuki star to take avoiding action. Bautista made a break from Hayden and looked to be heading for a season’s best dry result of fifth, but as the laps wore on the rain clouds gathered and a brisk, but heavy rain shower caught out the 26 year old and he crashed with only four laps remaining. He was uninjured, but bitterly disappointed to see the opportunity slip away.

Rizla Suzuki now heads directly to Malaysia for the penultimate round of the season, where Bautista will be joined by wild-card rider John Hopkins to mount a two-man attack at the Sepang circuit.

Álvaro Bautista, Rizla Suzuki

“It was good, but in the end a disappointing race for us. We didn’t start so well, but I was with the front group and very close to the podium battle. After a few laps, when the tyres started to lose their grip, I started to fight with Nicky and we lost time to the others. After I got away from Nicky I tried to concentrate to get the most from the used tyre and do my best. I just had to finish the race to get a fifth place, which would have been a good result here. The conditions were difficult though because during the whole race it was raining in some parts of the track and each lap seemed different. In turn 10, I saw some drops of rain on the screen and before I could even think to react, I crashed. The surface was very wet and I just couldn’t do anything about it! I am sorry for the whole team because they did a fantastic job for the whole weekend and we started from the front row for the first time this year, those guys deserved something from this weekend. We now have to look forward to the next race and take all the positives from here to Malaysia and I’m sure we can go well there.”

MotoGP, 2011, IVECO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Alvaro Bautista, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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