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Bautista: "Objective is to run with the guys at the front"

After the traditional opening night under the lights in Qatar, the MotoGP™ World Championship begins its European summer road trip in Spain this weekend at Jerez de la Frontera. For Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Alvaro Bautista and Michele Pirro the second round of the season presents an opportunity to build on the progress made in Qatar.

Bautista is determined to enter the battle at the front of the pack in front of his home crowd, having established a good feel for his Honda RC213V machine around this track during preseason testing, while Pirro's main challenge is to continue development of the team's new CRT bike, which has shown good potential during its limited track life so far.

Alvaro Bautista

"It was a tough weekend for us in Qatar because I struggled to find the confidence with the bike that I had enjoyed during preseason testing. We tried a lot of things without ever establishing a good feeling and I had to work very hard in the race to get 100% out of what we had. It was important for us to finish the race and to finish it in seventh was a positive way to finish a difficult weekend. During this short break I have been training hard every day and enjoying some time relaxing with my family, without ever taking my mind off the job. We have some extra PR work to do this weekend but I always look forward to Jerez because it is a very special race to me. I missed out last year through injury but we gathered some good data during preseason that should help us have a good race on Sunday. Our objective is to run with the guys at the front, which would be great because it is always such a pleasure to race at Jerez in front of the fans."

Michele Pirro

"It was exciting for me to make my MotoGP debut in Qatar, racing alongside so many great champions. Unfortunately it wasn't an easy debut from a technical point of view because our bike still has some teething problems, which is to be expected, so I wasn't able to find my limit despite a lot of hard work from the team. They are put ting in a huge effort and I hope that is rewarded in a positive fashion in Jerez."

Fausto Gresini, Team Manager

"The first race of the season in Qatar gives us an idea of how the season can be for us and I thought Bautista showed the potential to be running at the front in future. It wasn't an easy weekend because we had three cashes to contend with but in the end it was a positive weekend. He ran with a competitive group, fought hard for sixth place and could have maybe even finished higher. He had a good pace at Jerez in testing despite a few crashes there too so if he can improve his feeling for the Honda RC213V from Qatar he should have a good weekend."

Press release courtesy of San Carlo Gresini.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2012, Michele Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini

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