Today it was definitely not an easy day for Alvaro Bautista at Mugello: after the good feelings of yesterday’s first free practice, the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider struggled to find the right confidence with the front end and this morning during the FP3 he was not able to set a good lap time to go directly to the decisive Qualifying 2 session, that determines the top 12 grid positions.

Subsequently, a crash in the fourth and final free practice session forced Bautista to participate in both the Qualification 1 - where he resulted the fastest with a best time of 1’48”312 – and the Qualification 2 only with one bike, with no margin for further mistakes. In QP2 Alvaro improved his limit by 0.2 seconds, setting 1’48”132 and eventually closing in 11th position.

The day saw a very good performance by Scott Redding, who tomorrow will start from place number 14 on the grid with a lap time of 1’48”754, less than 1.5 seconds from the pole position time: an excellent speed on a long track such as Mugello, considering that the Briton is riding the “Production Racer” Honda RCV1000R in Open Class configuration.

ALVARO BAUTISTA (11th - 1'48"132) “I crashed in FP4 as I lost the front under braking at turn 4; as a result I had only the other bike available to do both Qualifying 1 and Qualifying 2 sessions, so I needed to avoid other mistakes. For sure it’s been definitely not an easy day for us: after yesterday’s crash we had some problems, therefore this morning we made a big change in the bike set-up, but unfortunately it didn’t work. This afternoon we returned to yesterday’s setting, but today my pace was not so good, I need more confidence on the front end, because we are struggling a lot with the front hard tyre and, on the other hand, we lose some stability with the softer one. We will work hard tomorrow morning during the warm up to try and find a solution, because the goal is to use the front hard tyre”. 

SCOTT REDDING (14th - 1'48"754) “I did a good lap time, but I think that there was some room for improve a little bit, because I’m still learning the track; this morning I did some laps behind Valentino, who is a specialist here and I just saw some lines, but we haven’t done many practice because we missed FP2 yesterday, so I’m also lacking some track time. Anyway, I did my best lap on my own and I’m happy with that, but I think that I could improve 2 or 3 tenths. It’s a shame that Nicky Hayden is not riding, because I wanted to compare our performance, because he’s always really good in qualifying. We’ll have to see tomorrow for the race: the tyres are working pretty good - I’m going to use the front medium compound, and the harder at the rear - but i twill be a long and hard race, also demanding for the body”.

FAUSTO GRESINI “Alvaro faced a difficult day: we haven’t improved as we wanted and the crash during FP4 didn’t help him for sure. We're late with our working program on the bike set-up and this obviously influenced also our Qualifying; in addition, two crashes are also a bad thing in terms of confidence for the rider. I twill be a hard race tomorrow. Scott on the other hand was very fast and I am very happy with the time he managed to set: tomorrow he can fight for a good position and with the other Open Class bikes, even though our goal remains the same, that’s to be the best Honda RCV1000R”.

Published on : May 30 2014