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Bautista sets personal best at Sepang

Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista continued the first test of 2011 in encouraging form today by recording his fastest ever time at the 5’548m Sepang circuit.

Bautista clocked a time of 2’01.687 during the morning session of today’s test, faster than his qualifying time at last-year’s Malaysian Grand Prix. He completed 63 laps and finished in eighth place on the time-sheets, 0.917 from the quickest, but only 0.253 from second place.

The team was again able to evaluate many new developments to the Suzuki GSV-R, including different chassis and rear swingarm, and to make comparisons between previous parts and updated components for the machine. Bautista was happy with his day’s work and is looking forward to finishing the test on a positive note. Today’s fastest time was set by Dani Pedrosa on his factory Honda.

Rizla Suzuki has one more day at Sepang in which it plans to complete race simulation runs as well as continuing with the remainder of its intensive test schedule.

Álvaro Bautista:

“Immediately I left the pit lane this morning the feeling was more normal than yesterday – after my first day back at work it was easier to understand everything. On my first run I set a good lap-time and this was very close to the fastest guys, except Dani who made a real qualifying lap! Much more important was that I could make high 2.01 lap-times with very old tyres, and my rhythm felt good. Also, I tried three different chassis today and the results of that test were quite clear, and we have made an improvement to front feeling and turning. The engineers have also done some good work with the traction control and this is helping me get out of the corners more smoothly.

“Anyway, now I am quite tired after 63 laps and I didn’t push for a fast time at the end of the day like many guys did – it’s more important to understand the bike on old tyres. I am very happy with the developments Suzuki has made, and I’m enjoying myself – I think we can have some fun this season!”

MotoGP Official Test Sepang Day Two:

1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 2’00.770: 2. Casey Stoner (Honda) +0.664: 3. Ben Spies (Yamaha) +0.738: 4. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) +0.742: 5. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) +0.752: 8. ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +0.917: