Rookie Testing - Bautista Wraps Up At Estoril, Barbera To Jerez

The first round of extra testing for MotoGP's bumper crop of rookies has concluded, with Alvaro Bautista wrapping up a three-day test at Estoril in Portugal. The young Spaniard put in over 200 laps at the circuit, eventually lapping consistently in the 1'38.5s, according to the Suzuki press release. That pace would have put him around 12th place in the race, despite the conditions being cooler and less favorable. Bautista did, however, have a large number of laps to achieve that time, far more than the riders did during the race weekend.

Perhaps of more significance for Suzuki's overall effort was Japanese test rider Nobuatsu Aoki, who tested alongside Bautista at Estoril. The Japanese veteran spent time working on developing the bike ready for the 2010 season, testing a long list of parts which Loris Capirossi had started to test in the post-race event at Valencia. The test was doubly important to Suzuki, as it gave them a chance to test at a circuit outside of their usual testing facilities in Japan.

While Bautista has finished his testing for the year, other rookies are getting ready to do their extra tests. Hector Barbera will take to the track at Jerez for three days of testing from November 26th to the 28th. Barbera will hope to continue the rapid progress he made aboard the Aspar Ducati, finishing the Valencia test as the fastest of the rookies who had not ridden a MotoGP bike yet.

The other two of that number will have to wait another month. Hiroshi Aoyama  and Marco Simoncelli have a test lined up for Sepang shortly before Christmas. Aoyama has confirmed that he will be testing at Sepang, but Simoncelli is not yet certain to attend.

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Spies' next test will be at Sepang, with the rest of the MotoGP field. To my knowledge, he will not get a separate test, nor will Aleix Espargaro. Herve Poncharal was dead set against a separate test for the rookies, so he won't be arranging one. Spies was unconcerned by that at Valencia. Neither he nor Espargaro looked like they needed an extra test during the race at Valencia.

Throughout the post Valencia test and now at Estoril, despite all the other riders giving us their thoughts, there has been no comment from Bautista about the Suzuki at all - it has all been through Denning. Nothing constructive to say ?

Hold on a minute. Before you assume the worst here, it is not true that there were no comments from Bautista, on the contrary. What's published here and elsewhere in the English-speaking media is the official press release from Suzuki - as it's been pointed out in this article as well - and for some reason Suzuki decided not to include Bautista's statements in any of those (possibly because of the still partly existing language barrier). But there were definitely a lot of interviews with and comments from Bautista during the tests, for example one interview for each day in Valencia on and several statements on Spanish and Italian websites... Look and you will find. ;)