Alvaro Bautista will make his home country MotoGP debut for the Rizla Suzuki team at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez.
Bautista hails from Talavera de la Reina, near Madrid, which is over 500km/s away from the Andalucian road racing circuit, but he will certainly be guaranteed plenty of home support from the huge partisan crowd. Bautista has a good motorcycling racing record at the 4,423m Jerez circuit, with a victory in the 125cc class in 2006, as well as two second places and a pole position in the 250cc series in the last three seasons.
Teammate Loris Capirossi is eager to get racing again following the unfortunate postponement of the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend. The Italian is keen to add to his 300 Grand Prix starts as he goes in search of yet another milestone to add to his already impressive racing CV – that of 100 Grand Prix podiums.
Alvaro Bautista says: "I am still disappointed from Qatar, it was not the best way to start in MotoGP, but this is another race and I must learn from what happened last time. I like the Jerez circuit and got on the podium there last year so that is a good sign. It will be a big weekend for me because it will be the first time I have raced in Spain for Suzuki, so I hope to put on a good show for all the Spanish fans."
Loris Capirossi says: "I can’t wait to get to Jerez to start working again; we have gone quite well there in the last couple of years so hopefully things will be good. I have used the free weekend well and I have made sure I have kept fit, rather than rest and sit on the beach, so I am ready for the weekend ahead!"
The Jerez circuit is situated on the south coast of Spain in the Andalucian region. It is one of the most intense races of the season with over 250,000 people expected to turn up over the weekend, creating one of the most amazing atmospheres experienced at a Moto GP track.
Rizla Suzuki takes to the track on Friday afternoon for a one hour practice session, followed by a further hour of free practice on Saturday morning. Qualifying for the 27-lap race takes place on Saturday afternoon, with the main event getting underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT) on Sunday 2nd May.