Alvaro Bautista returned to action at Estoril just six weeks after breaking his femur in practice for the opening round of the 2011 MotoGP Championship in Qatar.
Though the Rizla Suzuki pilot was the last rider to finish at Estoril, Bautista proved he can overcome the intense process of physical reconditioning needed to compete in the MotoGP Championship.
And with two extra weeks off before this weekend’s French Grand Prix, the Spaniard has continued his intense training, hoping to be in much better shape than in Estoril.
And there’s a bit of extra incentive for positive results in France; the Spaniard is determined to redeem himself from his results at last year’s Le Mans’MotoGP race. During the 2010 French GP, Bautista crashed, upsetting an existing injury. He was forced to withdraw from the race.
Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki GSV-R MotoGP) says: “I have been working hard since the Portuguese Grand Prix and test to improve my fitness and get ready for Le Mans and the rest of the season.
“It was great to be back on the bike at Estoril, but it showed me that I still have some work to do to be up to race fitness. I plan to go to Le Mans in a better condition than I went to Estoril and in a much better condition than when I arrived in France last year! My target is to get to the finish line this year – because I didn’t manage that in 2010 – and then build on things for the remainder of the season.
“There are still plenty of races left so we have plenty of time to show what we can do. The few laps that I did in the test were good because they showed that the new chassis is an improvement, so we will use that in France and hopefully it will help us to be more competitive.”
Le Mans is one of the most famous race-tracks in the world and the MotoGP field will race on the Bugatti Circuit, a layout which only shares a short section of the 24-hour track. The 4,185m circuit is a real stop-and-go design which will certainly test Bautista’s physical ability to change direction. The track also has an incredibly fast first corner – taken flat-out in top gear before braking hard for a chicane. Le Mans is approximately 200km/s south-west of Paris and the usual lively crowd that fills the camp-sites around the circuit will add a unique atmosphere to the fourth round of the season.