San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista is preparing to embark on a new chapter in the history of the team following the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli last year.

Bautista will ride the satellite RC213V as he attempts to challenge the factory riders at the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship in Qatar this weekend.

The Spanish rider made good progress in testing but still has plenty of work to do in preparation for Sunday's opening race under the floodlights at the Losail circuit.

"Finally we're hitting the track for the first race after preseason testing at Sepang and Jerez. I am early looking forward to racing again because testing is pretty stressful with so much work to do in and out of the box, the days are endless," he said.

"Now is the time for the real action, for us to give everything to the task and experience that adrenaline that only racing provides. This will be my first race with Team San Carlo Honda Gresini and it's exciting because the guys are working well and I think we have made the connection we need for me to exploit my potential in Qatar."

Bautista enjoys riding at Losail but admits he is not a fan of the night race experience.

I like the circuit, it's fast and flowing and has a nice long straight. Unfortunately I am still not keen on the idea of racing at night, even though the track is well lit it is still not the same as racing in the day," he said.

"It is also usually quite humid, which makes the track surface slippery and even though the race takes place earlier this year I still think it will be a problem.

"Anyway, it is an investing event and I have the machinery to be fighting at the front so I will be giving my best to do that."


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