The 2014 MotoGP World Championship kicked off tonight in Qatar: both riders of the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini, Alvaro Bautista and Scott Redding, used the first 45 minutes of practice under the spotlights of the Losail circuit working on their bikes ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Alvaro Bautista closed the session with the second fastest time in 1’55”667, resulting  moreover the fastest rider with a Factory spec bike. The Spaniard spent most of the session trying different tyres with the aim of identifying the best option for the race, while tomorrow he will start to make some set -up adjustments on his Honda RC213V looking for a better rear edge grip.

His team-mate Scott Redding unfortunately has not started the weekend in the best way, completing only a few laps following some problems with the electronic that forced him inside the garage for most of the session. At the end of the session, the Briton was able to do a few laps, closing the night in 19th position with a time of 1’58”495.

ALVARO BAUTISTA (2nd - 1'55"667) “This first free practice was positive: the bike is working well and the feelings are more or less the same as in the last the tests carried out recently here in Qatar. Today we didn’t change the bike set-up: we just wanted to start the weekend with a good feeling and we succeeded, despite the track tonight was not in the best condition. I tried the harder option of the rear tyre, which I had never tried before, and I was positively surprised because the grip level is not so bad compared to the softer option, but on the other hand it provides a more consistent performance over the race distance. Therefore tomorrow we will continue to try it, and maybe we can use it for the race. Tomorrow our rivals certainly will improve their lap times, so there is still a lot of work to do if we want to stay ahead. We will try especially to find more rear grip because the bike is still sliding a lot”.

SCOTT REDDING (19th - 1'58"495) “Unfortunately we had a problem with the electronics, so we wasted almost all practice tonight. The problem was partly fixed on the second bike at the end of the session, but I only had time for a few laps. It’s good to get the weekend started, but a trouble free session would have been much better. I’m sure tomorrow the team will have everything sorted and we can start again”.

FAUSTO GRESINI “The first practice of the year was good for Alvaro, who seat already a lap time very close to the one he had obtained at the end of three days of testing on this circuit, despite the track tonight was not in the best condition. With the new regulations the situation is still not entirely clear, however today we were the fastest among the Factory bikes and this is undoubtedly positive. We will continue to do our best, and we'll see what happens tomorrow. I am very sorry for Scott, who lost nearly all the session: we are trying some new electronics from Magneti Marelli and unfortunately thir forced us to stay a lot of time in the garage to work on this area”.

Published on : Mar 19 2014