Rizla Suzuki MotoGP is on the way to Losail in Qatar for the final pre-season test this week still with an intensive schedule ahead of it.
Álvaro Bautista has made big steps during the first two tests of the season – both held at Sepang in Malaysia – and is hoping to continue the good work at a circuit that will stage the opening round of the MotoGP season. The cooler evening temperatures at Qatar – the tests will take place between 18.00hrs and 23.00hrs local time on Saturday 13th March and Sunday 14th March – will give the Suzuki engineers the chance to assess the improvements that have been made to the GSV-R to help it perform in all conditions.
Bautista will be joined at the test by former Rizla Suzuki star John Hopkins. The Anglo-American racer finished fourth in the 2007 MotoGP World Championship with Suzuki. He has recently joined the Samsung Crescent Suzuki team in British Superbikes in an aim to re-build his career following surgery to his wrist to enable him to keep riding. Hopkins will assist Rizla Suzuki with some PR filming planned for the test weekend and will be watching the progress of the 2011 Suzuki GSV-R around the 5,380m Losail circuit with interest.
With Qatar being the only floodlit track on the calendar, this week’s test will give all the riders a clear indication of what to expect when they return there next weekend for the first race of the MotoGP season on Sunday 20th March – also under floodlights.
“After the two good tests at Sepang we have a better idea about the bike and a good setting to start with at Qatar. This final test will be very important for us, as it will be the last time we can make some more improvements to the GSV-R before the first race. I am really looking forward to racing again and that can’t come soon enough for me. The team has worked very well in the pre-season and we need to carry this on and into the rest of the year.”