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Rear gains, fork future for Bautista
7 May 2013
The only prototype rider using Showa on the MotoGP grid, the majority of Alvaro Bautista's Monday test schedule was unsurprisingly devoted to suspension developments.
The Go&Fun Gresini Honda rider - sixth in his home GP held at Jerez the day before - felt that a new front fork needed more work, but was happy with set-up progress at the rear.
"Today was an interesting day, because we tried out some new solutions with both the front and the rear,” said Bautista, who was ranked sixth at the test.
“We also used a new fork, with which we found some good things but which needs more work. For the moment the fork that we used [in the race] performs better, but the basic details of what we used today looks very interesting for the future.
“As for the rear, which gave us problems at the weekend, we found some settings that gave us positive feedback. Today we were faster than over the entire weekend and I clocked my best lap time. So it was a positive day and the pace on used tyres was also good.”
Bautista added that he expects Showa to use the data gathered to turn their attention to rear shock developments.
“We also did a great job with Showa, because we were able to collect data and information of interest to them for developing the rear - which we've neglected a bit recently,” he said.
“I am confident ahead of Le Mans, where I am sure we will have better performance with both the front and the rear of the bike."
CRT class team-mate Bryan Staring managed to beat his best qualifying lap during the test, but his track time came to a premature end after a fall.
"I'm unhappy about the crash at Turn 11, which forced me to end the testing session early,” said the Australian rookie, 16th in both the grand prix and test. “I was doing well, despite a really bad headache, and I was pleased with what I was doing. Unfortunately, the unexpected early finish has left a bad taste in my mouth and I can only apologise to the team.
“I felt a strange vibration on the front and I lost control of the bike. In any case, I consider this a positive day; firstly because I went faster than in qualifying, but mainly because I rode with a good pace, felt good and was confident on the bike. All this gives me confidence for the next race at Le Mans in France. "
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