Bautista battles to eighth as Capirossi is knocked out of the race
Rizla Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista rode a fantastic race at Misano in Italy today to bring his GSV-R home in eighth place after a hard-fought race.
Bautista started from 16th on the grip and was lucky to
avoid a first corner incident that caused him to lose time on the pack of riders in front of him. He quickly regained his composure and set about chasing the field. Bautista caught and passed a number of riders as he made his way up to eighth on lap 18, he then tried to catch Colin Edwards who had a large gap between himself and Bautista, but the Rizla Suzuki man was unable to bridge the distance - even though he made huge in-roads into the American's lead.
Loris Capirossi 200th race in the premier class of motorcycle racing was over almost as soon as it had begun, when he was knocked off on the second corner of the first lap. Capirossi got a good start and had made up a number of places from 11th on the grid, before Nicky Hayden ran into him and knocked him off his machine. Capirossi suffered an injury to his right-hand little finger that will require surgery in San Marino tomorrow, but he is hopeful that he will make the next round of the MotoGP championship.
Today's race was won by Spaniard Dani Pedrosa with World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo in second. Sadly today's race was overshadowed by tragic events in the Moto2 race earlier in the day. Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa was fatally injured in an accident that involved two other riders. The 19-year-old was taken to hospital, but was pronounced dead upon arrival. The thoughts and prayers of the whole Rizla Suzuki team are extended to Tomizawa's family, friends and team during this traumatic period.
Rizla Suzuki will next be in action at a brand new racetrack to the MotoGP calendar, as it travels to the Aragon circuit in Spain for the round of the season on Sunday 19th September.
"It has now become a very difficult day and I don't really know what to say. I had a good race, even though I had to avoid Loris and Nicky after they crashed and I lost my position. I tried to get in my rhythm as quick as I could because I knew I had a good pace. When I was catching the group in front of me I made a mistake and put the bike into neutral -- so I lost some more distance on them. I concentrated hard and pushed to the limit and I managed to go faster than I had in practice and I caught the group up. Once I was with them I knew I was faster so I got past them and pulled away. Today nobody crashed in front of me during the race so it was a true eighth position and I was very pleased with that. I was happy at the end of the race because the position was good and I was happy with the race-pace, but when we had finished the race I heard the news about Tomizawa and I am just so sorry for him and all his family. It is a hard day for all riders, I am sure he will stay with us always and I hope he is now in a better place."
"I am very angry at what happened today because I was feeling very confident and the bike was good, so I thought we could have a competitive race. Now I have to have an operation and I hope I can be back for Aragon, but this is nothing compared to what happened in the other race. I want to send my condolences to Tomizawa's family, this is a great tragedy and something that you never like to hear about."
Tom O'Kane -- Alvaro Bautista's Crew Chief:
"Firstly I want to say to Tomizawa's family and friends that we all send our deepest sympathies -- it's a terrible thing that has happened and Alvaro was very upset when he heard the news at the end of the race. With regards to the race, he got a very good start off the line, but took a few laps to find his rhythm. Then it looked like he had a really fun race, he was chasing guys down and passing them with what looked like ease. His fastest lap in the race is the fastest one he has done all weekend and we as a team will be doing all we can to move him up in qualifying to see what he can do from the second or third row."