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GP Week : Issue 114
Alvaro Bautista is definitely the happiest person in the MotoGP paddock. MICHAEL SCOTT spoke to him after the first day of practice for last weekend’s Portugese GP. 5 Minutes with ... Alvaro Bautista GPWEEK: So, what’s it like being back? ALVARO BAUTSTA: Today was very important for me, after one hard month working to recover – today I can ride, so I am very happy for that. Maybe I don’t have enough power in the leg to change direction fast, and when you miss some races your mind needs also to recover, to get back to speed. I want to be my best as soon as possible. What are the risks of coming back so soon? The bone is not 100 percent set, so maybe if I crash it could break again. My doctor in Spain told me that it’s a risk but not so very dangerous. The pin is still there and we’ll keep it until the bone is set fully. I don’t know when that will be – I just think about riding. Like Rossi you used the hyperbaric pressurised oxygen chamber to speed recovery. What is that like? I did that 20 times, also working with my physiotherapist in the swimming pool to recover the movement. It was hard because I live in a small town, Talavera de la Reina, 120 km from Madrid, and I had to travel every day to Madrid. Sitting in the back of the car, resting. I did more than 4,500 km in less than one month. In the chamber, I didn’t feel nothing special. You just rest. No headaches or anything – I felt normal. You are inside a small chamber ... no room to read a book or anything. I slept. One hour at a time – five minutes to change the air, ten minutes to put in pressure, then you are there for about 40 minutes, and then again 10 minutes to take out the pressure. I didn’t feel anything, but the recovery has been very quick. How did you break it – slide into a kerb? When I crashed, I jumped very high, hit the ground, then I slid. Sometimes when you crash, when you stop you feel pain in the leg or the arm. But when I stopped I felt okay, no pain, so I went to stand up ... and the bone collapsed. Your move to Suzuki – you could have stayed with the Aspar team, but you decided to move to Suzuki. Looking back, was it the right decision? Yes. I am sure I did the right thing and I am happy to be here with Suzuki because they support me in everything. It is very difficult to improve a bike in just one year. You can see that with the Honda, you need more time. And they have much experience and much reference. We are doing very good work. Clearly we have to go step by step. You can’t be down then suddenly up. Is it easier for you now you are alone, without Loris (Capirossi) in the team? No. I think it is better now, but not because I am alone. But I have some experience now and I can say what we need to change to go quicker. When I started last year I used Capirossi’s data, everything. After the middle of the season I started to change the bike for me. So this year is better, because I have the reference from last year. Your style is very different from his. A lot, yes. I am smoother. We see from the electronics that he opens the gas from the corner like crazy: from zero to full in less than one second. I am much smoother, and I like to open ... not suddenly. There is a mystery about Suzuki’s involvement next year. Do you know what you will be doing? I know nothing. At the moment I have much work to do this year. For me I need to recover my level with the bike. After this year, I don’t know. You always seem to be happy. Or is it just a face you put on? Yeah. (giggles) Normally I am happy. I think it is better to live with a smile than to be angry. Sometimes I am angry, but I try to forget that feeling. What is your home situation – do you still live with your family? I live with my girlfriend, but in the town where I was born ... Talavera de la Reina. (speaking so fast you can’t pick it up – and laughing again). It is better I write it down for you. It is 120 km from Madrid, on the road from Lisbon. So I am Spanish, not a Catalan. Any favourite books, or movies? Sometimes I read, but I don’t like. As you know a rider likes speed, and books are too slow. Too much time to arrive to the end. I prefer to watch movies. Action or terror movies. How about computer games – any favourites? I don’t play too much, like other people my age. Sometimes I play with the Nintendo Wii, because you are the player and you have to move. I like that more than when you take a stick and move it around. How did you get mixed up with motorbikes? I started to race with minibikes when I was eight years old, and I became professional in 2003. That year I started to earn some money. I’ve ridden bikes and liked bikes from when I was three years old – my father loves bikes and taught me how to ride, and we would ride together. He never raced – just rides for fun. If you hadn’t been a racer, what would you have done? I don’t know. I never thought about any other job. 18