2011 MotoGP Prep
With a year of MotoGP competition under his leathers, Rizla Suzuki rider Alvaro Bautsita says he is ready to place the GSV-R on the podium.
The 26-year-old Spaniard, who will be the sole Rizla Suzuki rider in 2011 MotoGP, underwent an intense training regime over the winter break. He's hoping to have the same luck in 2011 MotoGP that he had years past in previous classes.
Bautista won the 2006 125cc MotoGP Championship, and raced for the following three years in the former 250cc Class.His best finish in the 250 MotoGP class was second in 2008.
During his first year of racing in the premier MotoGP class, Bautista finished 13th overall. His best finish was a pair of fifth-places at Catalunya and Malaysia.
Now Bautista is looking to garner all his experience from that first year in the premier class, and have some better results. MotoGP released an interview on Bautista before the first official tests at Sepang Feb. 1-3.
Alvaro Bauitsta (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP) says: "It'll be a difficult year, but I have more experience with the bike and I'm sure everything I learnt last season will help me. It's true I'll be the only rider on the team, but I have great confidence in Suzuki because last year we did a good job of evolving the bike and we'll continue that this year.
"Last year I took two fifth places (Catalunya and Malaysia) which were great, but this year I'd like to aim to fight for the podium in some races. I think if we do a good job in pre-season this could be possible.
"As the sole rider the factory will work on what I ask them to, whereas if there was another rider he could perhaps suggest a different direction. I know they're going to work just for me and this is very positive because they'll work from my feedback."
Bautista then discussed the upcoming official MotoGP tests at Sepang.
Alvaro Bautista says: "We'll start with the setting that we tried at the last Test in Valencia (in November). We saw various positive things there and we'll go with that base. In Japan they've been working very hard throughout the winter to try and improve things on this front.
"We tried a different engine position in the chassis and that appeared to give us a little more confidence, but we have to confirm this at this Test to see if we were going in the right direction."
"All the bikes can improve. When Valentino went to Yamaha it was a bike that was perhaps inferior in comparison to others, and he made it into a winner. I think with hard work and knowing what needs to be done at the right time, it (the GSV-R) can improve.
"Suzuki has the capacity and potential to do this and we'll see if we can do it this winter. I believe we lack a little rear grip in the bike, and in corner entry and exit, and we'll focus on improving this aspect. If we do that, we'll have made a significant advancement.
"I learned a lot last year. I had great experiences but also bad ones too, such as my injured collarbone. I believe I've matured a lot as a rider and that I improved a bit towards the end of the year. I still have a lot to learn in this category, but if I don't have any problems with injury I think I can take a big step forward as a rider.
"I don't know in which race I can win or how but I know I have rivals who have won races or even the title, such as Lorenzo, and who I have beaten when I raced against them in other categories. Why shouldn't I be able to do that in this class? I also know it's not easy and that I have to work hard to achieve this."