Michele Pirro continues to surprise on board the Honda CBR 1000R powered FTR CRT machine despite it having on a few hundred kilometres on the clock. The Italian rookie shaved a second and a half off his best time from yesterday in tonight's second and third free practice sessions and could have gone even faster but for a small technical setback with the bike. Alvaro Bautista struggled for front feel on the RC213V tonight and has work to do ahead of tomorrow night's qualifying session.
Alvaro Bautista (10th 1’ 56” 771) “Today wasn't a good day for us – we tried to improve the feeling with the bike from yesterday but didn't manage it. My feeling with the front just doesn't allow me to push although when we changed to the soft tyre it improved so maybe we should have done that from the start and we'd be in better shape right now. Anyway, it's important to try these things because we need to make our tyre choice for the race. After 11 laps we had more grip than we'd had with the hard so I think the soft has good potential for the race. Now we need to look at the data and try to improve the front.”
Michele Pirro (15th 1’ 58” 800) “We have taken another big step and improved by a second and a half from yesterday, closing the gap to the top CRT bike, so that gives us reason to be satisfied. Obviously we have a lot still to do but we are staying positive. Our priority is to work on the electronics because they play such a big part. We are trying to work without making mistakes, I have a great team around me so I think we just need to keep working in the same direction and we will get our rewards.”
Fausto Gresini “It wasn't an easy night for Alvaro. He struggled more than yesterday and we need to know why. There is one particular section of track that he's having difficulty with so we need to have a close look at the data and try to get more out of the bike. I should say that apart from the top guys everybody else is very close so it looks like it could be a tight race from fourth place back. Like yesterday Michele and the CRT bike were a pleasant surprise. Even though the bike is so young it is improving every time and that's great for me and all the guys in the team because this first part of the season was never going to be easy.”
Honda Gresini Press Release