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Bautista savours battle for eighth

Bautista savours battle for eighth

The Rizla Suzuki rookie held his own in the Gran Premio A-Style de Aragón to challenge for a top-six finish and eventually place eighth for the third successive race.

Álvaro Bautista had to use all the experience he has accumulated in his debut season so far to take eighth place in Aragón on Sunday, as the Rizla Suzuki rider battled both his bike and fellow riders to hold onto his position.

Starting from 12th position on the grid the Spaniard was required to exercise a combination of aggression and control to make his way up the order, winning an intense battle with fellow rookie Héctor Barberá and withstanding some late pressure from Marco Melandri to secure his final result.

“I had some great battles out there with De Puniet, Barberá and some other riders and I really had fun during the race,” said Bautista. “At the beginning I had a bit of a problem when I was braking and I felt a lot of moving in the front, so I couldn’t keep up my speed entering the corners. I wasn’t able to push how I wanted, but luckily after a few laps the bike started to work how I wanted it to – it was much more like the bike I had in qualifying so I was able to find a good rhythm.”

From there the 25 year-old settled into his race and also entered into a duel with Barberá.

“In the middle of the race the performance started to deteriorate and it was getting very difficult to follow Barberá on the fast back straight,” he explained. “This made it very difficult to overtake him and if I did manage he immediately came back past on that straight, so that made me lose more time on the guys in front and the riders behind started to catch us. I had to fight right until the last corner on the last lap to keep eighth place once I’d got past Barberá, I was forced to close every line and in the very last turn Melandri tried to come past but I was able to block him.”

Bautista concluded: “Today the bike was probably not perfect because the tyres started to slide from the middle of the race onwards. I fought as hard as I could and eighth is not a bad result, but I certainly think we can do better.”

The Spaniard will be aiming to do so in the next round at Motegi in a fortnight, when he is expected to be joined again by team-mate Loris Capirossi who sat out the Aragón round whilst still recovering from surgery to a finger.

MotoGP, 2010, GRAN PREMIO A-STYLE DE ARAGON, Alvaro Bautista, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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