On the verge of earning his best finish in a MotoGP race Alvaro Bautista (#19) crashed out on Lap 14.
Suzuki’s home race in Japan ended in better disappointment after Alvaro Bautista threw away a golden chance to claim a career best MotoGP finish at the Twin Ring Motegi. The Spaniard was pushing in fourth position to keep a hard charging Andrea Dovizioso at bay when he lost the front-end of his factory GSV-R machine at the penultimate corner on Lap 14.
The chaotic early stages of the 24-lap race had seen former 125GP world champion Bautista run in third place for six laps. Valentino Rossi and Ben Spies had collided on the first lap, Casey Stoner ran off track while leading and Marco Simoncelli and Andrea Dovizioso were both penalized with a ride through penalty for jumping the start.
Stoner took third from Bautista on Lap 12 as the Aussie surged back through the field but Bautista had a healthy advantage of seven seconds over Dovizioso’s Repsol Honda when he tumbled out.
It was the third time in the last six races that Bautista has crashed with a top six finish on the cards and factory team boss Paul Denning said: “He made a mistake basically pushing too hard in the wrong place. He hadn’t had a single movement of the front tire for the whole race. We gave him a signal the lap before of Dovi +7 and he knew full well what the potential speed of Andrea had been earlier in the race and therefore he was going to have to push to the maximum to keep fourth. His mindset was he’s had a fifth and a sixth and he wanted a fourth and you have to admire that. But
Alvaro Bautista is still awaiting news from Suzuki on whether it will participate in the 2012 MotoGP Championship.
unfortunately he just pushed too hard in the wrong place to try and pick up the lap time. The data showed he was pushing a lot harder than the lap before and that’s it.”
Bautista is still hoping to get a clearer indication of Suzuki’s future MotoGP strategy. The Spaniard confirmed earlier in Japan that he has no clear information whether Suzuki will remain in the premier class in 2012, with the Japanese factory’s future the subject of constant speculation.
If Suzuki does decide to continue racing, it will almost certainly start the inaugural 1000cc campaign using its current 800cc GSV-R machine. It is hoped that Suzuki would clarify its future plans during its home race in Japan this weekend, but the former 125GP world champion Bautista, who has a firm contract offer to partner Cal Crutchlow in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad in 2012, said: “I hope to have some news from Suzuki for next year but still nothing is clear. I hope to make a good race here in Suzuki’s home and maybe they take some motivation from this to have a good bike for next year. At the moment nothing is clear and I have to wait to take a decision for 2012.”
Suzuki race boss Shinichi Sahara declined to answer any questions about 2012 and beyond in the Twin Ring Motegi paddock.
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