Alvaro Bautista struggles on way to fastest time

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 09 March 2014 06:56

Alvaro Bautista might have been fastest on the second night of MotoGP testing in Qatar, but it was not an easy ride to the summit of the timesheets for the Gresini Honda rider.

The former 125GP world champion set a best time of 1.55.194 to knock almost a second off his pace from the opening night.

The Spaniard was satisfied to have led Stefan Bradl and in-form compatriot Aleix Espargaro but not happy entirely happy with his performance.

Speaking to MCN in Doha he said: “I am more satisfied than the first night but my feeling is still not perfect and I certainly don’t feel as good as I did in Malaysia. But I have struggled a lot here in the past couple of years with the front and it is the same again now. I am not 100% happy because I don’t have a good feeling entering the corner and I am also struggling with rear grip.”

Bautista said his issues with the new 2014-spec rear in Qatar are the same experienced by several riders during the recent second Sepang test in Malaysia.

Bridgestone has heat layered its 2014 tyres to prevent the high cornering speed and forces generated by the 1000cc MotoGP bike from overheating tyres.  The modification is only minimal but the heat proofing has made the side of the tyre stiffer and sacrificed edge grip.

Bautista added: “With these new tyres we have lost a lot of edge grip and at this track with the long corners it seems we are struggling more than Yamaha.”