Alvaro Bautista had a scare at the end of the final night of MotoGP pre-season testing, at Qatar on Monday, when he destroyed his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R in a huge 250km/h crash.
The Spaniard, Suzuki's only MotoGP rider this year, fortunately walked away with just minor scratches and bruises. Bautista had already completed 63 laps, the best of which was good enough for twelfth place.
“Up until the last 10 minutes of these 10 hours of testing, the two nights had been extremely productive for Alvaro and the Rizla Suzuki team,” said team manager Paul Denning.
“A 250km/h crash is never a good thing and the GSV-R that he was riding won't see the light of day again, but he is almost completely unmarked - so we can put that one down to good fortune and move on to the race weekend with optimism.
“The bike's performed consistently over the two nights, and whilst we haven't pushed for a qualifying type lap-time, Alvaro's rhythm over the long runs is quite competitive and we've got a good direction to start the grand prix weekend.”
Bautista explained the fall as follows:
“I put a soft tyre in the rear and a hard in the front to try to make a good lap, but I tried to warm the tyres on the out lap so I could push hard and when I arrived in the last corner I braked very hard and lost the front, so I finished my day before the end of the test!
“I am happy with the work from the two days because we have a very clear direction for next weekend. We are in a much stronger position than a year ago and I'm looking forward to the race.”