News 1 Feb 2012

Bautista and Bradl positive after debuts on Honda's RC213V

Spaniard Alvaro Bautista was ninth fastest on the RC213V at Sepang on Tuesday.

Spaniard Alvaro Bautista was ninth fastest on the RC213V at Sepang on Tuesday.

Honda MotoGP newcomers Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl were satisfied with their respective debuts aboard the striking new RC213V at Sepang in Malaysia.

Bautista finished ninth, but less than 0.2s from sixth on his first day on the San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V at the Sepang Circuit.

“This was my first day on the RC213V and I am very pleased with it because I instantly felt comfortable riding a thousand,” Bautista said. “Obviously after a three-month break from racing it is not easy to get back out there because you have to reset your mind and body to the task and rediscover your pace.

“We have worked on adapting the bike to my riding style and I have just tried to get confident without worrying about lap times at this early stage. I am satisfied because I am working well with the team and everybody is putting in a lot of effort.

“Over the next two days we will work on general set-up and the electronics but I am already feeling positive because we are not too far off the fastest times and we haven’t started pushing yet.”

Bradl declared himself “satisfied” after his first laps on the LCR Honda RC213V. The young German had ridden the 800cc RC212V at the November Valencia test, but that was so long ago that he couldn’t make a comparison to the larger displacement machine.

What impressed him greatly about his new ride was the seamless gearbox, which shifted so smoothly that it didn’t upset the motorcycle while leaned over.

Much of the day was spent on riding position as the brute power of the RC213V made it imperative that his body be properly positioned on acceleration.

Once properly situated, Bradl could concentrate on handling the physicality of the machine, which requires far more strength to race than the Honda-Kalex he raced to last year’s Moto2 title. In the end he was 11th fastest with a 2:03.668 lap time.

“I am quite satisfied about this first outing aboard the new bike,” Bradl said. “After a few laps I was impressed by the potential of my machine and I did not find it particularly physically demanding as I trained a lot in the winter break.

“We mainly concentrated on my riding position adjusting the seat, the handlebar, the foot rest and so on. Later, from 1:00pm to 4:45 p.m. we worked hard including the electronic side, chassis regulations and tyres changing – I posted my best lap time on hard rubber.

“So far I can say it was a productive day for everybody. Now I need to look at the data to fix more adjustments for tomorrow.”