After topping the timesheet on the first day of the second Sepang preseason test on Wednesday GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista attributed his pace to a rear suspension update and a better feeling with the new Bridgestone tire option.
The Spanish rider was the main man as the second crucial Malaysian test got underway, taking advantage of the absence of injured MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez and some off color test performances from the likes of Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa – who all concluded the day outside the top four.
Bautista was down in 11th position overall at the end of the last Sepang test with a 2’00.788 best time on a track which was producing much faster lap times than those recorded by the majority of riders as ‘Sepang2’ commenced this Wednesday. The Gresini man was one of the few to get close to matching his best from the previous test and his 2’00.848 at the end of the first day made him the pace setter.
He explained his performance, stating, “The track was not as good as at the last test. Our plan was to work with rear suspension, because last time we struggled a lot with the rear shock. We have a new one from Showa here and we tried it this morning and I liked it a lot. I have a much better feeling on the bike and it’s definitely the biggest improvement we’ve made today. We tested some new items on the front but the biggest step was with the rear.”
Clarifying tire allocation and his thoughts on the 2014 compound Bridgestone are providing, Bautista added: “It (the best time) was with the new tire from Bridgestone as we don’t have last season’s Bridgestones here. I’m happy because at the last test we struggled a lot with the new compound. Today we were able to work well and make use of the potential of this tire, so I’m happy.”Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Gresini Honda, MotoGP