9 March 2014
Qatar MotoGP Test: Rear grip problems remain for Bautista
Alvaro Bautista ends Qatar MotoGP test conceding defeat in battle to iron out rear grip problems that have dogged Spaniard at the Losail circuit
Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista was unable to find a solution to the rear grip issues that have dogged the Spanish rider throughout the Qatar MotoGP test.
Bautista finished fifth fastest on the third and final day at the Losail circuit on the RC213V, his quickest lap of 1m 55.232s leaving him 0.358s down on pace-setter Aleix Espargaro on the Open class Yamaha.
He spent the final day undertaking a race simulation and completed 22 consecutive laps despite suffering a small fall at Turn 4 halfway through his long run.
Bautista, though, was unable to sustain his pace due to rear grip woe; a persistent issue that has been prevalent over the three days of testing at the Losail circuit.
“In today's race simulation we have collected some very important data to work on during the first Grand Prix weekend, although we still encountered some problems, like in the first two days of testing here at Losail,” he said.
“We are still struggling because of the lack of grip at the rear, and moreover halfway through the full race distance the tyre performance starts to drop.
“Our pace is better compared to last year's Grand Prix, and this is positive, but in two weeks we absolutely want to improve,” Bautista added.
“Before the long run I crashed as I lost the front, but fortunately it was nothing serious.”
MotoGP newcomer Scott Redding, meanwhile, also completed his first race simulation on the RCV1000R, ending with a best lap in 1m 57.009s as the young British prospect finished in 11th place.
“I'm pleased that I got my first ever MotoGP race simulation under my belt today, and I'm also satisfied with my performance,” said Redding, who was the seventh fastest Open class rider.
“I was able to maintain a steady pace and my lap times, compared with that of Nicky Hayden – who is still our reference – they were not bad at all.
“We are therefore confident ahead of the first race, although we noticed a drop of the tyre performance in the second half of the long run, so we need work to improve this,” he added.
“In this last day I didn't make any change to the bike, because we focused on the race simulation: it was important for us to complete a first long run, and we did it well.”
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