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Battling Bautista produces his ride of the year

Battling Bautista produces his ride of the year

The Rizla Suzuki rider finished ninth in the season-ending race at Valencia, whilst team-mate Loris Capirossi was forced to retire after 13 laps.

Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista produced the ride of his rookie season at Valencia today to bring his Suzuki GSV-R home in the top-10 after starting from last on the grid.

Bautista and his Crew Chief Tom O’Kane made some big changes to his machine for the morning’s warm-up session and the Spanish rider soon reaped the benefits. As the first few laps unfolded there was no evidence of what was to come as he only made up a couple of places - one of which was due to another rider crashing. By lap 19 Bautista had caught a group of four riders, all of whom were battling for eighth place and the impressive Spaniard quickly passed each one of them in the next few laps to move to the front of the pack. Bautista was then constantly challenged for his position as the riders swapped places in the closing stages, but unfortunately he just could not hold off Héctor Barberá in the final lap. He still managed to bring his bike home in a commendable ninth place, to the applause of the whole team.

Loris Capirossi had another torrid afternoon, as the Italian retired from the race with a mysterious problem at the end of the 13th lap. Up until that point Capirossi had battled hard to make a couple of passes and move up to 14th place, with the riders in front still well in touch. Sadly he had to come back to the pits to signal the end of the race for him, in what was his last appearance for the team. Capirossi was visibly saddened by the way the race ended, but paid tribute to all at Suzuki for three good years together.

Álvaro Bautista:

“After having such a difficult weekend with all the problems on Friday and Saturday, today has been a big step for us. This morning in warm-up we went back to a setting that I used in the last races and it quickly felt a little bit better, it wasn’t a big difference but I thought it would be good for the race. I wanted to give my maximum in the race and give the team the best result possible today. Before the race started if someone said I could finish ninth I would have signed for that, but after the battle with Hector I am disappointed because I think I could have been eighth! It is a good result for the whole team after a hard weekend, but it is not the result I expected before I came to Valencia because I came with the mental attitude to finish in the top five. Now that we have finished the season we know we have many things that we need to improve on the bike and I also need to improve my riding style, so we have a very hard winter ahead of us – I hope to get to the first race next season with the bike better than it was this year. I will also have more experience so I expect to improve on my results next season.”

“I would like to the thank Suzuki, all the team, Rizla and all the other sponsors, because if they didn’t help us it would be impossible for us to be racing, so thank-you to all of them. Next year we will certainly be trying even harder and I really believe we can be competitive!”

Loris Capirossi:

“I really want to say thank you to everybody because I have had three really good years here at Suzuki, the relationship is great and I am so sorry to be leaving – I really love everybody! The luck this year didn’t really help me, we had many small problems and that showed in today’s race. I have improved a lot in myself in my time at Suzuki and although our roads are now changing direction, I will for sure have a place in my heart for Suzuki and all the people there – thank-you for everything!”

Rizla Suzuki press release

MotoGP, 2010, GRAN PREMIO GENERALI DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Alvaro Bautista, Loris Capirossi, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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