Alvaro Bautista and Scott Redding kicked off the Grand Prix of the Americas weekend today with the first two practice sessions at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Alvaro Bautista had a tough first outing as he suffered understeer, struggling to get the bike turned; the Spaniard made some set-up adjustments in the afternoon 45-minute session, but he was not able to improve the situation, closing the first day with the 11th fastest time in the combined classification. Team-mate Scott Redding improved 6 places from 19th to 13th over the two sessions and also took a large chunk out of his morning time, shaving an impressive 2.6 seconds off by the end of the second practice. The Briton finished the first day as the top Open Class Honda RCV1000R, ahead of local rider Nikcy Hayden.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (11th - 2'05"453) “Obviously, being outside the top ten is an unusual situation for us, but unfortunately we struggled a lot today. It should be said that we are not far from the other riders, excluding Marquez who is a step ahead. We are struggling especially in the middle of the corners, where the bike runs wide: with this situation it’s quite difficult to get the bike turned. In the afternoon session we tried different set-ups, but we couldn’t get a good improvement, so now we will analyze all the data ahead of tomorrow, because of course we want to improve. In the morning session the engine of my bike number 1 turned off right out of the pits, on the first corner, so I had to use the second bike, but we solved the problem quickly, in fact in the afternoon I was able to use both bikes without any problems”.
SCOTT REDDING (13th - 2'05"937) “This morning maybe a lot of people thought ‘what's happening to Scott?’; simply it was my first time here with a MotoGP, as we dind’t had a test before the race, like it happened in Qatar; therefore I had a little bit more work to do here; in the first session I just took it easy, and also the softer tyre dropped off a lot in the end, but then we went out in the afternoon and I immediately felt better. The biggest thing for me to learn here are the braking areas: I still need to be more consistent, sometimes I’m too late, some others, too early. On the other hand, I feel already fast in the changes of direction. Anyway, I enjoyed a lot working on the bike, trying different wheelbases and stuff like that. All in all I’m happy to finish the day as the top Open Class Honda”.
FAUSTO GRESINI “Unfortunately today Alvaro was not able to get a good lap time, also because we worked a lot with the hard tyre, so we have not taken advantage of our potential. In any case, apart from Marquez, all the other riders are not far away: we can close the gap from them, so we remain calm ahead of tomorrow. I'm very happy for Scott, who set a great lap time aboard the Production Racer Honda: now for him it will be crucial to work well for the race, because today we understand that we can’t use the softer tyre”.Published on : Apr 10 2014