With Michael van der Mark out of the game, it seems like a head-to-head in Misano between Alvaro Bautista and Johnny Rea. At the moment, they are the only ones that have a fair margin as far as the race pace is concerned.
The Cannibal, after having set a fast time during the FP1, had to settle for a second place time in the afternoon, also remedying a fall at Turn 2. That's where the four-time world champion's analysis starts.
"Too bad for that setback," Johnny began. "Unfortunately, I slipped up at Turn 1 while, in the next one, I leaned the bike more than I should have and ended up falling. However, I needed that fall to help me understand what my level was. Among other things, I had just fitted a new front tire, while I kept the worn one on the rear. This will be useful for me tomorrow."
Today, van der Mark ended up falling. What's the situation on the track?
"There is much less grip than the tests three weeks ago. In fact, the conditions are completely different. As compared to Jerez, I would say that the situation is quite normal, if we want to say so, given that two weeks ago the grip was incredible. Certainly, we'll have to make the necessary assessments and avoid risks.”
The weekend in Jerez was a complicated. Today it started differently.
"I feel bad for that weekend. I was very confused, and I had just arrived from the Suzuka 8 Hours test and struggled to find confidence with the ZX-10RR. The bike we use in Japan changes compared to this one and, as a result, I had lost my way. What's important is that here in Misano I found the Kawasaki I was used to."
Apparently, you and Alvaro have another pace than the competition.
"It's difficult to say, given that everyone follows their own work method on Friday. Maybe a rider concentrates more on one tire instead of the another & vice versa. What I can say is that I have great confidence after this first day. I found the sensations I wanted with the tires, even more after the race simulation."
Will it be a head-to-head with Bautista?
"A lot will depend on what the track conditions are. It might become a conservative competition, where we might try to preserve the tires for the final. Or the grip will be good and, consequently, we'll be able to attack from the beginning. I think we can be fast, and we have the stuff to prove it."