Rizla Suzuki's MotoGP rookie Alvaro Bautista was 'consistently lapping in the 1min 38.5sec' by the end of a three-day test session at Estoril.
Estoril hosted the Portuguese Grand Prix on October 4, when Suzuki's 2009 race riders Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen set best lap times of 1min 38.291sec and 1min 38.930sec respectively, on their way to a DNF (Capirossi) and tenth (Vermeulen) during the 28 lap grand prix.
The fastest race lap was a 1min 36.937sec by Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, although Suzuki states that conditions were 'cooler' with 'lower grip' at the test.
The private test marked the second and final chance for former 125cc world champion and 250cc title contender Bautista to get track time on his new 800cc GSV-R before the winter break.
The young Spaniard made the most of it by completing over 200 laps during conditions that ranged from rain on day one, to overcast skies on day two and sunny, but cool conditions on the third and final day.
He also tested some new engine components, aerodynamic parts and Akrapovic exhaust systems on day three and was able to confirm team-mate Capirossi's conclusions from the previous Valencian test.
“Álvaro has been very impressive over the three days and has completed 212 laps with absolutely no errors,” said team manager Paul Denning.
“His pace at the end of the test is very respectable, especially considering that there were only two bikes out there on track and with cooler conditions and no rubber being laid down the conditions were not as good as they were at the race weekend last month.
“He has gelled really well with the whole team and is taking a very calm approach – the mechanics also like him because each of his runs is so long, a minimum of around 12 laps, so they get the chance to have a rest!”