The stopwatch speaks of an 8th position, but there's is much more behind this. Alvaro Bautista closed the two days of testing in Jerez with a lot of information, and the feeling of having a bike that he can have lots of fun with. Obviously, the road to success is long, and #19 doesn't deny it.
“We got a chance to use the slicks even if the track was not in perfect condition," Alvaro said. "And my first feelings were good. The bike certainly has a lot of potential, but we have to put everything in order. I'd like to try other things, but the weather didn't allow it. Today's times aren't accurate. It depends a lot on the uncertain track conditions. I stayed in the garage when the track was in the best condition, but the most important thing was to work and develop with the team."
A year later, since his debut in the Superbike, Alvaro knows what he's worth, and he doesn't hide knowing what his Honda needs to be fast, nor that it takes time to assemble all the components.
“I certainly know the category and the tires better than a year ago, which allows me to focus more on the bike. I know what sensations I need to go fast, and I know what we need to be fast. It's a bit like cooking. We have excellent ingredients, but we have to mix them together properly to make a good dish. In these past two days, also due to the weather, we couldn't do anything but lay down the foundations for next time."
But it's however impossible not to talk about goals, even if Alvaro remains vague.
“The goal is to get to our highest level as soon as possible. We don't have much time to test the bike, so only this can be our goal. My most daunting rival? I'd say the reigning champion, to whom I want to get as close as possible."
Another important point regarding #19 is his transition from Ducati to Honda, which Bautista does not underestimate.
“The way Ducati and Honda work is completely different, but it's also different in the MotoGP. HRC is pushing hard to get results, which gives us strength and confidence. I'm part of an important project, and I feel like I'm at the top of the team's thoughts. Last year, I was in an official team where everything was more "under control" while everything here is more exciting."
Then his thoughts look ahead to the future, and to the upcoming tests in Portimao. "We have another test in a few days, and we'll use it to continue and try to understand the bike and acquire data, hoping for better weather."