Impressive first session for Bautista in Qatar
Rizla Suzuki 's new signing Alvaro Bautista produced a promising first practice session at Qatar this evening to record the seventh fastest time at the 5,380m circuit.
Bautista (1 '56.998, 18 laps) is making his race debut
for Rizla Suzuki this weekend and showed early potential as he steadily made progress up the leader-board whilst making important improvements to his Suzuki GSV-R. Bautista is in a confident mood and will be looking for a strong position in tomorrow 's qualifying session.
Loris Capirossi (P13, 1 '57.363, 18 laps) had a very fast crash just past the half-way point of this evening 's hour-long session. He crashed at over 150km/s and although his bike suffered quite substantial damage, Capirossi was able to walk away completely unscathed. He made his way back to the pit-box, dusted himself down and went back out on-track to record his fastest time of the night on his very last lap. Although the Italian - who is scheduled to make his 300th Grand Prix start this weekend - was disappointed with the accident and time lost - he is still very positive about the weekend ahead and convinced he will be competitive come race-day.
Rizla Suzuki has one more practice session tomorrow evening, ahead of an hour of qualifying to decide grid positions for Sunday 's 22-lap race. The first Grand Prix of the 2010 MotoGP season will get underway at 23.00hrs local time (20.00GMT) under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit, when both Rizla Suzuki racers will be making their own personal landmarks - Bautista with his first MotoGP race and Capirossi with his 300th GP start.
"I am happy with what we have done this evening. The track condition was not as good as the test, but I 'm still close to the best time I 've ever done here. I 'm only one-tenth off my best time and pleased with that. I had some problems getting the grip I wanted and it didn 't feel as good as the test, so I tried the other chassis to see if it was better. It was and I feel it is certainly a step in the right direction, so we will continue to work with the new frame for the rest of the weekend. I hope that tomorrow I can improve my time and I think that it will be possible. We have all done a good job today and because this is my first race there is not much pressure on me so I am happy with that and I can just get on and do my best. "
"It has not been so good tonight, because when I went out for my third run I tried some different things and I crashed. I then went out on the other bike and took it carefully to get the feeling back and towards the end of the session I was doing better and my time started to improve. Our potential is much better than what we did today, but I am not angry because I know we can improve a lot more tomorrow - that should be quite easy to do because today was not good enough! "
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"It has been an interesting first hour of the 2010 season for the team if nothing else! Alvaro started with the same setting as he finished the test and, after then comparing the new specification chassis, he chose that as it gave him more feeling from the bike and tyres. He certainly seems to have a steely competitiveness about him and although it is early days, tonight 's performance - in his first official practice session as a MotoGP rider - gives us all encouragement for the forthcoming season.
"I have just been sitting and chatting with Loris and he is all smiles despite everything and at least he got away with a very fast crash with absolutely no injuries whatsoever and, as ever, no negative psychological effects. It did however stop us from getting any meaningful results from the session, but Loris is very confident - and we have every confidence in him - that he will take significant steps forward and be back in the fight tomorrow. "