The Japanese MotoGP ended without confirmation from Suzuki regarding its 2011 plans, and with only one GSV-R rider reaching the flag, but Alvaro Bautista did at least continue his run of solid points with seventh place.
The rookie had been just behind team-mate Loris Capirossi when the Italian's engine shut down, allowing Bautista to take his second-best finish after fifth at Catalunya.
“It was not a good, but also not a bad result!" said Bautista, now 17 points ahead of Capirossi for 13th in the championship. "We improved on our position from the last few races, but I had a problem in the first few laps with the rear tyre because it was just not getting enough temperature in it, this made it difficult to follow the others riders.
"After three or four laps I got back into my rhythm and saw that I could keep a similar distance and time to the front group, but the gap was too big and I wasn't able to catch them.
"We need to improve on what happened in the first few laps, because in this category those laps are very important. I hope that in Malaysia we can make steps with this and we'll try to be in the position that I think we should be - which at the moment is in the top-six.”
For Capirossi, his 'power failure' marked a sixth non-finish from 13 race starts – and was especially galling given he had been riding through the pain of recent finger surgery.
"Five or six laps from the end the bike started to slow down a bit. I don't know what happened, but then it started to go ok again and then with a couple of laps to go it completely stopped," he explained.
"I am very sorry for the whole team, but it seems the luck is just not with me this season – we will still try to finish the season in the best way that we can.”
Suzuki is now expected to announce its 2011 plans during this weekend's Sepang round in Malaysia. The main decision is whether to cut back to a single-rider entry or stick with the present set-up.
Bautista is already signed for 2011, but Capirossi looks certain to ride for Pramac Ducati.