Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista is eagerly awaiting his home Grand Prix at Montmelo in Catalunya this weekend, determined to put the rigours of this season so far firmly behind him.
Bautista will be back at full fitness as he heads to the Catalonian circuit, following the last two races that have seen him make an incredible – but under-strength – return to action following a broken femur earlier in the year. He was involved in a five-man battle last time out at Le Mans that saw the Spaniard fight hard all race long, before eventually finishing in 12th place. Bautista is convinced that he can now make the step up and compete inside the top-10 as he aims to get Rizla Suzuki’s season firmly back on track. The Montmelo circuit is a track that Bautista enjoys and after a strong fifth there last season – his equal best result of 2010 – he will be hoping that the mix of his ‘home’ Grand Prix and the added incentive of many fans and friends at trackside will spur him on to a strong performance in this year’s race.
The Circuit de Catalunya is located 20km north of Barcelona, near the town of Granollers. It is one of the most modern circuits on the MotoGP calendar and has all the elements you would need to make an excellent Grand Prix. The 4,727m circuit, with its eight right and five left-hand corners, is a good measure of a bike’s performance, as what works well there will usually work well anywhere. The mixture of a kilometre-long straight, fast right-handers, elevation changes, a downhill section into a sharp right-hand bend and a huge grandstand that will be filled to capacity along the start-finish straight, all go to make this one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the season’s calendar.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will start its preparations for Sunday’s 25-lap race with two free practice sessions on Friday. Another free session will be held on Saturday morning and then an hour of qualifying in the afternoon will determine starting positions for the race, which gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT) on Sunday 5th June.
“I have a good memory from last year at Barcelona and I hope to be able to make a good race there because it is a track I like very much. I have been training very hard and I’ll be 100% fit when we start the weekend. We have all had a tough time so far this year and we need to forget about that and focus on the rest of the season, we still have many races to go and I’m sure we can be competitive and start pushing nearer the front very soon. I really like racing at Montmelo and I’m sure that my ‘home’ race will give me the confidence that I had there last year – and also during the winter tests – to be able to produce a good performance to really get our season underway.”