Ducati fans were waiting for Alvaro Bautista's twelfth triumph of the season at Imola, while Johnny Rea ruined the party. There was nothing the Spanish rider could do in the face of the Cannibal's superiority who, after a few laps, fled without leaving hope of a comeback for the Aruba rider.
So, Bautista had to pull in the oars and make do. He had already figured it out during the morning practice sessions, and then confirmed it in qualifying.
"Today, the maximum possible result was a second position," began Alvaro. "Apart from the fact that the track was new to me, I was unable to push and be 100% fast. Unfortunately, I suffered in terms of stability and also in curves. I think they were the worst conditions I've had with the V4. I couldn't do any better."
At the end of the practice sessions, he had already emphasized his doubts related to the stability of the Ducati.
"It's a question that depends on the characteristics of the bike," he revealed. "I had the same problem at the start of the season, but we didn't make any changes. As you saw on TV, the bike moved continuously, as if there were dips. Fortunately, we were able to handle this situation on other tracks, while it didn't go the same way here. Apart from that, I can say that we have some ideas about how to move forward for the future."
Do you think the same problem can recur even in the following rounds?
"I don't think we'll suffer on the next tracks like in Imola, also because they're tracks I know well. We might struggle in Portimao, but that race is still far away, and I think we'll find something."
When did you realize today that there was nothing you could do against Johnny?
"Before the race, I knew his pace was very fast, but that's how races go. I pushed hard, but Johnny was stronger than me, not only on the race pace, but also on the qualifying lap. Maybe he was able to make better use of the tires. In the end, what mattered was to reach second place, and that's what happened."
One last word: what can change if it rains on Sunday?
"Anything can happen. The riders definitely prefer it dry. During the tests on April 24th, it rained for an hour and a half here in Imola. I still raced several laps. The problem is if there's a lot of water, since it would create rivulets. So, it would be dangerous to race. We just have to cross our fingers."