Bautista and Gresini team pleased with seventh

Monday, 9 April 2012

The Spanish rider was happy with how his first race with the team went, although team-mate Michele Pirro was less satisfied with his race in Qatar.

Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista produced a result that was above expectations in the Grand Prix of Qatar after a difficult weekend, which had got worse in warm-up with another crash. However, the plucky Spaniard battled hard to finish seventh, just 0.033 seconds shy of sixth after a thrilling battle with Nicky Hayden. The team's Honda CBR 1000R powered FTR machine enjoyed a less successful debut however, with Michele Pirro forced to retire with a technical problem having at least proved that he has the pace to run with the best in the CRT class.

Álvaro Bautista:
"We have finished a problematic weekend in a good way. I have struggled for front feel in practice and then we had another crash on a cold tyre in warm-up. That was a problem for us because we had gone back to the setting from winter testing but only got chance to try it on the sighting lap and warm-up lap. I made a good start and stayed with the group I was in, fighting for sixth to the end and only just missing out. We were still lacking some front feel and a bit of speed in corner exit, which would have helped out in the fight with Hayden. Anyway, I am happy because it is the first race I have finished since Aragon last year so that's important. I have to thank the whole team for working so hard to give me the bike I'm asking for. I have great confidence in them and I am sure we will improve for the next race."

Michele Pirro:
"We're still having some teething problems with the bike and it's frustrating for me because I actually got a good start tonight. Lap by lap I started to have problems with the rear wheel and had to come back in. It has been more like a test for us than a race and I'm disappointed because we showed good pace in practice and I think we could have had a good race. But it's a new bike so we have to be patient and trust that better times are ahead."

San Carlo Honda Gresini press release

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