In 2010 MotoGP, Alvaro Bautista joined the premier class with eight years of experience in World Championship competition, which included a 125cc title (2006).
During that first year on the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R, Bautista’s best top finish was fifth, a position he conquered at both Catalunya and Malaysia. The Spaniard ended his rookie year with 13th overall, and garnered much experience in MotoGP.
For 2011, new challenges await, but Bautista’s sophomore year as the sole Suzuki rider started well (his former teammate Loris Capirossi moving to the Pramac Ducati team).
Bautista’s first official outing for 2011 MotoGP was at Sepang earlier this month, where he finished 10th overall with a 2:01.687, ahead of some big players such as Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team). These results gave Bauitsta an optimistic view of the upcoming 2011 MotoGP season.
Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzki MotoGP) says: "I’m very happy because I’ve improved my best lap time from last year, so it’s a good sign for us."
Bautista, who missed the final day of the three-day session due to sickness, tested different frames, electronics and other modifications on the GSV-R. He says being the sole rider is a huge benefit when testing, allowing him more attention than available on a two-rider team.
Alvaro Bautista says: "I think being the only rider is positive on the whole, because Suzuki is working only for me and they are making the bike to my requests. Now it’s very hard for me but I think that when the races start it will be easier and I think I’ll have more support.
"In Valencia (last November) I tested many things and here I re-tested the same parts, but Suzuki is always a very fast bike here. Here I cannot feel the big difference like I felt in Valencia so this means that in hot conditions our bike is competitive, as always. In cold conditions I think we are improving.
"It’s very important to have a competitive bike not only in hot tracks, but we need it to be competitive in cold tracks too so the work Suzuki are doing is of great importance."
In other Rizla Suzuki paddock news, team manager Paul Denning confirmed that John Hopkins will be the back-up rider for Bautista. "Hopper" will attend the Qatar test in March.