Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista produced a thrilling performance in front of his home fans at Aragon in Spain today to equal his best dry result of the season so far.
Staring from 11th on the grid, Bautista got boxed in on the first corner and was lucky to avoid a crash between two other riders, but by the end of the first lap the hard-charging Spaniard had moved up to eighth position. He then got involved in an almost race long battle with the Ducati’s of Hector Barbera and Nicky Hayden as the three of them traded places many times throughout the race, before Bautista got the better of the pair and made a break in the latter stages to secure a hard-fought, but deserved, sixth place.
A crowd of over 63,000 spectators arrived at Aragon today to be greeted by overcast skies, strong winds and temperatures considerably below what they had been previously this weekend. Championship leader Casey Stoner produced another commanding performance to take victory on his Honda and further strengthen his position at the top of the standings.
Rizla Suzuki and the rest of the MotoGP paddock now embark on a far eastern tour that will see them all race in Japan, Australia and Malaysia in the month of October. The first of these three races will be the re-scheduled round at Motegi in Japan on Sunday 2nd October, a race that was originally planned for earlier in the year, but was postponed due to the tragedy that struck that country shortly before the GP was due to take place.
“Today we had very different conditions from the practice and the temperature was much lower. I wanted to have a good race in front of my home fans, so I pushed as hard as I could to make the bike and tyres work right from the beginning, but I didn’t get a good start and other riders got in my way in the first corner and it was quite difficult to overtake early on. I got up to Hector and Nicky we had a big battle and fought a lot between us and when I got into sixth the riders in front were very far away and I was still fighting with the other two, so I couldn’t get a good rhythm. In the last laps I made a break from the other two and was able to ride more consistently and smoother and pull away to secure the sixth place. It was a good result, but I think if the conditions had been the same as qualifying we had the potential to be with the group fighting for podium positions. I am happy with all we have done this weekend and looking forward to the next race and to continue with this work.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“Another strong race performance by Álvaro, he again kept things tidy and used controlled aggression to climb from a fourth row start to a sixth placed finish. We are really happy with Álvaro’s efforts and the performance of the GSV-R, and the focus continues to be the same as it has been – that is to qualify better and get more out of the fresh tyres at the start of the race. Those two things are definitely connected, in that if we qualify better and are following the quick guys in the early laps we have a much better chance of hanging in there with them. I think Motegi will suit Álvaro and the Suzuki, and we are looking forward to giving Suzuki’s Japanese fans something to remember when we go there next month.”
Gran Premio de Aragon Race Classification:
1. Casey Stoner (Honda) 42’17.427: 2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) +8.162: 3. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) +14.209: 4. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) +20.646: 5. Ben Spies (Yamaha) +27.739: 6. ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +30.373:
World Championship Classification:
1. Stoner 284: 2. Lorenzo 240: 3. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 185: 4. Pedrosa 170: 5. Spies 146: 12. ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) 67: