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Bautista happy with new Suzuki

"The Suzuki is now stable, has good feeling and it's fast" - Alvaro Bautista.
Suzuki's lone MotoGP rider, Alvaro Bautista, faced illness during both of the Sepang tests, but still left the final Malaysia test in eighth place - ahead of all the Ducatis.

The Spaniard was forced to miss the entire last day of the first test due to sickness, then had to quit early on day two of this week's Sepang return due to a headache and dizziness.

Bautista - whose work was assisted by test rider Nobuatsu Aoki - was back on track for the final day and, despite suffering a slow speed fall, took almost half-of-a-second off his best ever time at the circuit.

“I felt a little better this morning, especially after the Clinica guys gave me a special vitamin drip,” said Bautista. "On my first run I made my best Sepang time so far, but actually I made a couple of mistakes and it really should have been a 2.00 something.

"After that everybody was using older tyres and the track is getting hotter so it gets less easy to make similar times, but I was happy to be able to make mid 2.01's on old tyres.

“The test wasn't the best on my side, because my condition wasn't great and I didn't make the long run today - sorry to Suzuki's engineers about that - but we have improved the bike in areas that I really believe will help us in different conditions.

“The Suzuki is now stable, has good feeling and it's fast - I hope we have the same feeling in the colder conditions of Qatar - now I just want to race!”

That sentiment was backed-up by team manager Paul Denning.

“The team has been working very well and very calmly, and it now feels like time to race,” he said. “The competition this year and the depth of field is absolutely brutal, we hope that Rizla Suzuki and Álvaro is part of the fight!”

The third and last pre-season test will be held at Qatar on March 13-14, before the first race takes place at the same track on the 20th.

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