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MotoGP, Bautista: the Ducati GP16? It's 'easy', reminds me of the Honda

Alvaro is ready for the new adventure in red: "the bike has great potential. Fighting in the top five is a realistic objective."

Bautista: the Ducati GP16? It's 'easy', reminds me of the Honda

Suzuki, Honda, Aprilia and now Ducati... you cannot say that changes frighten Alvaro Bautista. Last year – especially in the last part of the season – the Spaniard did not do at all badly with the bike from Noale, but they have now parted ways.

Now a new challenge awaits him, with team Aspar and another Italian bike, the Desmosedici. The red bike from Bologna had a reputation as a runaway bull, but since Dall’Igna took over, things have changed and confirmation of this comes from Alvaro.

The first time I rode the Ducati GP16 it felt easy to handle, in inverted commas, compared to other MotoGP bikes I have ridden. I really like the character of the engine, it is very smooth. I also really like the electronics. I think it is a bike with a lot of potential” was the way he described it.

The D16 is different from the rivals, but in what way?
It is hard to compare with other bikes because my references have changed over the years as I have gathered experience. On the Suzuki I learnt a lot about MotoGP but it had a different character. I think the Honda is the most similar but the Ducati chassis handles better and it is lighter, I like it more. For me, of all of the bikes I have ridden, I think the Ducati is well balanced.

Do you think you will have to change your riding style to adapt?
It is hard to answer that right now, I need more laps on the bike. In the tests we have done so far we have learnt something new each time, improved, and raised the bar. I still don't know where I need to improve or where I am at the limit already.

What are you asking for from 2017?
I am hoping that in 2017, from the sporting side, I can enjoy riding the bike and racing. I hope to be able to give everything as a rider and get the most out of every circumstance. I am not asking for results because I know that if I can squeeze 100% out of the bike and enjoy myself, the results will come.

You finished the year on an upward trend. Do you think you can keep the run going as early as Qatar?
I think 2016 was a season of steady growth. The bike arrived in time for the first race and the more we worked on it the more it improved, which allowed me to get results. The base we start from in 2017 is ready to race; we don't need to develop it so it will be easier when we go to each Grand Prix. We can focus on the set-up or tyre performance. I think the objective is to be more prepared and I am confident we can score better results than the ones we finished last season with.

Can you make a prediction for this season?
I think it will be a fun season, with so many rider changes. To be fighting in the top five would be a good result. It will be difficult but I think it can be a realistic objective.

Translated by Jonathan Blosser

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