The final day of preseason at Jerez could have gone better for Alvaro Bautista, with two crashes denying him the opportunity to complete his testing programme. His race pace his good but the Spaniard perhaps struggled a little for the confidence to push for a faster time because of his two tumbles. Michele Pirro paid the price for his bike’s youthfulness today, settings some decent lap times this morning but struggling to improve his pace in the afternoon due to technical problems.
Alvaro Bautista (86 laps — 9th 1’ 40.017)
“It hasn’t been a great day for us. We started out well and tried some interesting electronic solutions this morning, as well as two different Bridgestone tyres, to try and work out which gave me the most confidence. Then in the afternoon we were doing a race simulation when I crashed not once but twice, when the front let go without warning. I still don’t know what happened exactly and naturally that damaged my confidence in the front and I couldn’t push to the limit as I would have liked. Anyway, we are not losing faith because we found some good things and now we just have to prepare for the first race in the best way we can. Racing at night in Qatar is not easy but I still feel confident even after the worst afternoon of preseason testing. My feeling with the team is perfect and I am sure they will help me to recover the confidence I lost today.”
Michele Pirro (52 laps — 19th 1’ 42” 212)
“All I can say is that we have a lot to work on! Lap by lap I am building my confidence with the bike but I couldn’t really make the most of it because we had a problem with the bike and I had to come back into the pit box. They are teething problems but it is frustrating for me because I want to squeeze out everything I feel inside. It is a shame but I know that the guys are working hard, I have complete faith in them and I am sure that we will soon be reaping the rewards of all their effort. We just need to be patient.”
“Two crashes for Alvaro was perhaps a bit much today but when you are trying to get confident with a new bike and find your pace these things can happen. It is a shame because he didn’t manage full race distance but over 20 laps his pace was good and only half a second off the top guys. So overall it has been a positive test even though Alvaro won’t be completely satisfied because he would have preferred to finish it in a different way. We have a gap to make up but we should be able to close it in the opening Grand Prix of the season and I am looking forward to it. The CRT project is a bit of a different story because we still have so much work to do. We have made constant improvements with each track outing, which is positive, but we know that the road is long and we have barely started. This is a new project with a lot of potential so we have to tackle each problem calmly and appropriately.”