Alvaro Bautista feels he is getting back up to proper racing speed after a fighting performance at Le Mans was rewarded with four valuable points.
After a cautious return to action in Portugal, having made a sufficient recovery from his injured femur, Alvaro Bautista proved more competitive in France as he diced with the pack at the lower end of the top ten.
Though mistakes, problems with the Rizla Suzuki's tyres and contact with Loris Capirossi left him an eventual 12th at the finish line, the Spaniard was pleased to be challenging his rivals again following a frustrating few months.
“This is my first race this year because in Estoril I raced alone, but today I was able to fight with other riders! We managed to finish the race and get more kilometres under our belts, but I did not have the same feeling on race day as we had in qualifying.
“I felt like I had no good rear grip in the exit of the corner and the bike was spinning a lot and I struggled to stay with the group going for places in the top ten. I made a mistake when I tried to pass Abraham later on as I touched the gear lever and went into neutral and lost some time, and I also had a bit of an incident with Loris and Hector.
“I tried to catch the group at the end, but it was very difficult to get past them. This is another race completed and I felt more competitive than in Estoril. This race was good for getting the racing feeling back and being able to overtake other riders and fight with them. I did many overtakes under braking and enjoyed the race very much – but not the result! I think if my rhythm had been better I could have finished in the top ten.
“I want to thank all my team, because it has been a difficult weekend with some strange weather conditions, we tried to do the best we could and make a good bike for these conditions.”