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“Pull & Bear Team Americas Preview”
Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham hope to build on positive results in Argentina after fourth and tenth place
The MotoGP World Championship makes its third stop of 2017 on the other side of the Atlantic this weekend with a visit to the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. Maverick Viñales arrives in the USA with maximum points from the opening two rounds and with his team-mate Valentino Rossi, who joined him on the podium on both occasions, as his closest current rival. Andrea Dovizioso was also on the podium in Qatar and despite failing to finish in Argentina he lies third in the championship, with leading Independent rider Scott Redding at the top of a group of thirteen riders covered by just ten points. With two rounds gone, Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa are the only two factory riders outside the top three and inside the top ten.
The aim for the Pull&Bear Aspar Team this weekend is to maintain their level from the previous round in Argentina, where both Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham scored their best results in years. The Spaniard finished fourth in South America, his first top five since he took third at the French Grand Prix in 2014 some fifty races ago. Those thirteen points moved Bautista up to ninth in the championship, a position he is hopeful of improving on with another similar performance this weekend. Karel Abraham scored his first MotoGP top ten in three seasons in Argentina, having last done so at Valencia in 2012. It was his second points-scoring finish of the year and even though he is expecting a bigger challenge from the COTA track he is confident the good work done by his team in preseason and the early part of the campaign and turn around his previous fortunes there.
Álvaro Bautista:“We are looking forward to arriving in Austin after a good weekend in Argentina, but this is a quite different track with different demands. We will try to work as well as possible to find the same feeling as Argentina and head into the race with a good pace and a good set-up so that we can fight for a top five finish again. Austin has some hard braking and acceleration zones as well as some mixed sections with a variety of direction changes. It will be tricky to find a set-up there because when you get the bike working well in one sector it tends to be compromised in another. We will give our best as always and hopefully we can have the same outcome as the last race.”
Karel Abraham: “I have taken some time out on the way from Argentina to Austin to take the opportunity to relax and avoid the time change with Europe. I have also been able to keep my training up and get ready for the next challenge. Austin is a difficult circuit for the Ducati, and especially for me. It has a lot of hairpins and sharp turns, it is not one of my favourite tracks but anyway, neither is Malaysia and we had a pretty good test there in February. I am looking forward to this Grand Prix, it will be difficult but I hope it can positive again like Argentina.”