Sunshine and ideal track temperatures welcomed the MotoGP paddock to Japan today as the action got underway at Motegi. Unfortunately for Alvaro Bautista he was unable to make the most of the conditions and solve a recurring front-end problem, a lack of confidence under braking not making life any easier around this particular circuit. Michele Pirro suffered similar problems today and like Alvaro he needs to work with his engineers to find a more stable set-up for the many hard-braking points at this track.
Alvaro Bautista (8th 1’ 46” 983) “We haven’t found what we are looking for here yet. This morning we tried a different shock and forks but the problem with the front vibrating under heavy braking remains. We went a different way this afternoon to try and improve stability but the solution didn’t come. Unfortunately it means that I don’t have the confidence I need to push the bike into the corners as I would like at this track. Today we used the hard tyre and the grip wasn’t great so we’ll evaluate the soft tomorrow and make our choice. The main focus though will be to improve the vibrations on the front.”
Michele Pirro (18th 1’ 49” 770) “This is a track where you need good stability under braking and we need to improve in this area. Two dry sessions today has given us a lot of data to work from so we will try to improve the situation and be more competitive tomorrow.”
Fausto Gresini “Alvaro rode well but is still struggling with the bike ‘jumping’ on the front. It was still a positive session for him because unlike the other riders he didn’t use the soft tyre. We have started out better here than at some other tracks so I think that if we can solve the problem Alvaro is having under braking we can do well here. Michele is struggling with a similar problem so we need to work hard with him too to solve it.”