Bautista with grip issues, Redding pleased with long run

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Alvaro Bautista was a Sunday crasher at Qatar, whilst his rookie GO&FUN Honda Gresini teammate Scott Redding got his first ever MotoGP race simulation under his belt.

Despite a small crash as he lost the front at turn 4, halfway through the session, Bautista was able to complete his long run of 22 consecutive laps - but he could not manage the pace he desired.

Due to the persistence of some grip issues - which the Gresini team will try to overcome during the opening race weekend in two weeks time - Bautista was not 100% satisfied with the Qatar test. He finished the day with the fifth best time, 1’55.232, which was 0.358s off the pace.

He commented, “In today’s race simulation we collected some very important data to work on during the first GP weekend, although we still encountered some problems, like in the first two days of testing here at Losail. We are still struggling because of the lack of grip at the rear, and halfway through the full race distance, the tyre performance starts to drop.”

“Our pace is better compared to last year’s Grand Prix, and this is positive, but in two weeks we absolutely want to improve. Before the long run I crashed as I lost the front, but fortunately it was nothing serious, so that later I managed to complete the simulation.”

Redding had the opportunity to complete his first race simulation aboard a MotoGP bike, a very useful experience ahead of his top class debut. The Briton completed 20 consecutive laps, keeping a good pace in the first part of the long run, while in the latter part his times have rose slightly.

“I’m pleased that I got my first ever MotoGP race simulation under my belt today, and I’m also satisfied with my performance,” explained the rookie. “I was able to maintain a steady pace and my lap times - compared with that of Nicky Hayden, who is still our reference – they were not bad at all. We are therefore confident ahead of the first race, although we noticed a drop of the tyre performance in the second half of the long run, so we need work to improve this.”

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