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Bautista ends Sepang test on a positive note

Rizla Suzuki has completed the second pre-season test with Álvaro Bautista taking almost half-of-a-second off his best ever time at the Malaysian circuit.

Bautista recorded a fastest time of 2’01.194 from his 34 laps around the 5,548m Sepang track to give him eighth place overall on the timesheets. Despite a slow front end crash at turn nine earlier in the day – that Bautista walked away from uninjured – Suzuki’s Spanish star was able to continue with the comprehensive test schedule, despite still suffering with the after effects of yesterday’s headache that caused him to require clinical treatment.

Bautista was able to try some new Bridgestone tyres today as well as a number of geometry settings and refine some of the earlier settings that he tried during the first two days of the test. Honda’s Casey Stoner finished the test as the quickest rider as he became the first person to lap the Sepang circuit in a sub two minute time.

Suzuki’s engineers now have two weeks to work on the data from this test before the final pre-season test of 2011 takes place at Qatar. The first race on the 2011 calendar will be held under floodlights on Sunday 20th March also at Losail in Qatar.

Álvaro Bautista:

“I felt a little better this morning, especially after the Clinica guys gave me a special vitamin drip. On my first run I made my best Sepang time so far, but actually I made a couple of mistakes and it really should have been a 2.00 something, after that everybody was using older tyres and the track is getting hotter so it gets less easy to make similar times, but I was happy to be able to make mid 2.01’s on old tyres. The test wasn’t the best on my side, because my condition wasn’t great and I didn’t make the long run today – sorry to Suzuki’s engineers about that – but we have improved the bike in areas that I really believe will help us in different conditions. The Suzuki is now stable, has good feeling and it’s fast – I hope we have the same feeling in the colder conditions of Qatar – now I just want to race!”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“A little bit of a strange test but at least we got some clear results! Thanks also to Nobu and the factory engineers for their efforts; they got through a lot of very detailed work that will help us in the future. Álvaro is maybe a little disappointed in his ultimate pace, but eighth overall on the sheets is really nothing to complain about given that we all know the difference between Álvaro ‘the rider’ and Álvaro ‘the racer’. The team has been working very well and very calmly, and it now feels like time to race. The competition this year and the depth of field is absolutely brutal, we hope that Rizla Suzuki and Álvaro is part of the fight!”

Second MotoGP Official Test Sepang Day Three Classification:

1. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1’59.665: 2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) +0.138: 3. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) +0.498: 4. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) +0.876: 5. Ben Spies (Yamaha) +1.013: 8. ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.529: