Alvaro Bautista's ambitions in Portimao went up in smoke after just one turn. Because of the contact that occurred with Chaz Davies' Ducati, the Spanish rider went wide, and eventually ended up at the bottom of the group. From there, the comeback that brought him to fourth place, even if the remorse remains for the initial episode.
"With a teammate like Chaz, I don't need other enemies," Bautista joked. "I was inside. He arrived and we touched. We were lucky we both didn't end up on the ground, since we could have fallen. From there, I had to get back up although, I have to say, that when I was alone on the track, I felt strong, and I managed to have a good pace."
This episode is yet another bitter pill to swallow.
"It's too bad for what happened but, at the same time, I'm satisfied with the pace. In the end, these are the races. Unfortunately, I was struggling in the beginning to pass with the new tire. Then when they start to wear out, I'm fast."
Alvaro, what do you think about Davies' maneuver?
"He started from behind, but he didn't take on turn 1 like the other riders. In fact, he wasn't on the correct line, unlike the others. He was very close to the curb. Fortunately, I was able to pull the bike up and not hit Lowes, who was on the outside.
The Ducati seems to be a missile on the straights, but then it becomes difficult to pass in corners. Is that true?
"I think I am very fast with this bike but, at the same time, we need to be precise. If you have to pass a rider at a turn, the bike moves, you also have to follow a specific line. Unfortunately, it's difficult to pass with the V4."
The contact with Chaz is yet another episode that has affected the season. How do you explain the falls and the mistakes that occurred from Jerez till now?
"As far as I'm concerned, the biggest problem was Laguna Seca. I made a mistake in Jerez and Misano while, at Donington, I ended up falling in the rain. In America, however, I crashed without even pushing in Race 1 while, in the Superpole Race, I ended up falling because of another rider. Commenting this situation is not easy, let alone rediscovering that competitiveness from early in the season. Today I was strong but, in the end, I found myself at the back of the group, with a good pace. My performance was good, but because of one thing or another, something always goes wrong."
One last thing: how's your shoulder?
"Now that the race is over, I have a bit of pain. In fact, I'm going to go to the mobile clinic. Your adrenaline lets you get beyond the pain during the race. For tomorrow, I still don't know. I'll figure it out.