Alvaro Bautista is well placed to conclude a solid second season of MotoGP racing at Valencia after qualifying fifth on the grid for his home event.
The Rizla Suzuki rider was a surprise front runner in the wet during FP2, but while dry conditions prevented him from pulling off a repeat performance in qualifying, the second row still represents one of his best grid spots of the year.
Pleased with his efforts on a circuit that he believes doesn't suit the GSV-R, Bautista will now go into the 2011 finale looking to better his top result of fifth, achieved in the wet at Silverstone earlier this year.
“Today has again been a good day for us, despite the very difficult conditions. This morning I felt good in the dry session, because today in the cold conditions we had a good feedback from the bike. In qualifying it was very tough, because we had rain before the session and the track was a bit wet in some parts. I pushed hard from the beginning, but it was raining in some parts of the track and it made it even harder because when you see drops of rain on the visor it's always against logical thinking to push even more.
“At the end I did some good laps and got a good rhythm despite the strange weather and made my way to fifth on the grid. I'm quite happy with that because this track is not one of the best for Suzuki and we are all looking forward to tomorrow no matter what the conditions are.
“Yesterday in the wet we did very well and we have a good setting and if it is dry I think we can stay in the battle for the podium positions. We will have to wait and see what tomorrow brings, but we will push to the maximum in any condition because I want to finish the season with a good result and I think it is possible to get it.”
Ahead of the imminent switch to 1000cc, Suzuki has stayed silent on its plans for 2012, though it is rumoured to have agreed to run one bike full-time for Bautista, with a part-season campaign for John Hopkins.