Alvaro Bautista's first ever MotoGP pole position at Silverstone came as no coincidence but as the result of many weeks of hard work. The Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider was able to take the definitive step forward in a post-race test at Barcelona followed by another session at Aragon and now he is ready to play a lead role in the MotoGP World Championship as the series enters its second third at Assen. Teamwork is proving crucial to the Spaniard's progress as well as that of the CRT project, with Michele Pirro also closing the gap to the leaders and looking ready to fight for the top CRT spot. As usual the legendary Assen circuit promises to be a fascinating event.
At Assen I will try to confirm my good form from Silverstone, run with the front pack again and continue making progress
“Silverstone was definitely a very positive weekend for us. After the changes we made in Barcelona my feeling with the bike improved a lot and at Silverstone we were able to confirm it. I felt comfortable and safe on the bike from the start and I was able to have fun, which showed through with the pole position on Saturday, my first in MotoGP, and in the fact I ran with the front group throughout the race on Sunday. It was an important race for me and I was able to learn a lot from running with them. It was a very significant fourth place because it is my best result in MotoGP and it was a nice reward for the team. I was able to celebrate a little after Silverstone with my friends but I have been training hard because we have three back-to-back races coming up and fitness will be crucial.
At Assen I will try to confirm my good form from Silverstone, run with the front pack again and continue making progress. The next objective is obviously the podium but we can't become obsessed with chasing it because I am sure that if we continue working as we are then sooner or later it will come. Assen is a legendary track with a mixture of fast and slow corners and a lot of fast direction changes.
Obviously the weather always plays an important role with the cold temperatures and constant threat of rain. The old circuit was definitely more interesting and I really liked it but the new layout has some nice corners too. The atmosphere is always incredible at Assen and it's just a big motorcycling festival.”
“At Silverstone we were able to confirm that we are on the right path. We made significant progress at the tests in Barcelona and Aragon and in England we were able to have a good race and run with the best of the CRTs. The work that the guys in the team are doing is so important and I think that if we can take another step than we can make a strong challenge to be the top CRT. We have some updates on the way that I think will help us move forward and I am very optimistic about the future.
Over the week off I made a quick trip home to Puglia to catch up with friends and family and now I am ready for Assen. The circuit is one of my favourites and I am sure we can have another strong race. Obviously the question mark will be over the weather because you never know what you will get in Holland and it can change very quickly.”
“I was very satisfied with the results at Silverstone, in practice and in the race. After his splendid pole position on Saturday Alvaro was able to run with the front group throughout the race so the goal for Assen is to prove that was no fluke. We know anything is possible because Honda have provided us with a great motorcycle and the work being done by Showa is allowing Alvaro great confidence with the RC213V in wet or dry conditions. After Barcelona and Aragon we have made significant progress and there will be no shortage of determination to continue working in this way. We are also taking significant steps with the CRT project.
At Silverstone Michele was again fighting with the best CRTs out there and I think he is very close to achieving a top result in what is a very hard-fought category. Michele and his team are doing a great job and in limited time they are turning our project into a competitive package. Development continues at Assen and with some updates on the way we should be ready to take another step forward.”