Alvaro Bautista has put a 'going, going, gone'-style crash at the Sachsenring's infamous turn eleven down to feeling a touch overconfident in the morning's dry free practice session, but was nonetheless fairly pleased with the state of the new track surface.

The Spaniard was holding a fine fifth place in FP1 when he lost the front when tipping into the downhill 'Waterfall' corner, after gradually gaining more confidence through that sector as the session progressed.

Thankfully, Bautista was unharmed, and, due to afternoon rain, has held a top ten place on the overall free practice leaderboard, meaning he will automatically qualify for tomorrow's Q2 should FP3 be wet, as expected.

"Well, fortunately I'm OK after the crash," said the Aspar Ducati rider, who was eleventh in the wet afternoon session.

"I crashed at turn eleven, the most difficult turn on the track. It was strange. We've seen many crashes like this in the past, like mine this morning. Just with the new asphalt I felt the grip was better than other years so I tried a bit more, a bit more, a bit more and then I crashed.

"So maybe I had a lot of confidence in that corner. Maybe you have to leave a bit more of margin for the race in that corner. In any case I was happy this morning because we tried some tyres and they worked well. I'm quite good with the feeling of the bike, no?

"This afternoon just before it started to rain, we had to use the rain tyres. At the beginning I didn't feel so well but changed the set-up of the bike and I improve a lot my feeling.

"I went quite consistent, improving lap-by-lap and at the end it was good. It has been a very good day because we could try in dry and also in wet. The new surface is quite good, I feel a lot of grip and I think it's positive.

"Just, if tomorrow is dry, we have to see if the tyre can make all the race because this morning, when we had to try different tyres, we couldn't make long runs with the tyres. We'll see tomorrow to try and make something work for the race."

Having tested a variety of slick tyres in the morning, Bautista feels it is still to early to call which tyre choice will be most appropriate for Sunday.

"Well, it's difficult because this morning in the rear I just tried the medium compound, the hard compound and also the soft. The tyre I did more laps was the medium. I did 16 laps but it was the first exit, you need the reference and more rubber on track.

"With the hard compound I didn't feel a bit difference but I didn't make a lot of laps. I improved my lap time but also I tried the front medium. It's difficutlt to take a decision now because in one practice session it's very difficult to know something about [all] the tyres."

By Neil Morrison

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