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SBK, Bautista: “The days aren’t worth many positions in the rankings this year”

“Rea and Razgatlioglu behind? In the past, you could lose just one or two. Today, you can instead lose five or even ten.” Bautista dominates with the pace at Phillip Island on Friday: "Weather conditions will change in the days to come. I won’t keep this advantage.”

SBK: Bautista: “The days aren’t worth many positions in the rankings this year”

Ducati is already scary. The first Friday of the 2023 World Superbike Championship closes with four Ducatis in the lead at Phillip Island. Alvaro Bautista’s domination is no longer news. So much so that, after finishing the pre-season as a star performer, the reigning Champion was also the fastest in both free practice sessions today with a 1’30”623 time. An overwhelming supremacy (almost half a second from Andrea Locatelli’s Yamaha, which was second) even if, more than on the flying lap, he also seems to have an advantage with his pace this time. The Spanish star player overtook a few times on the low 1’31”. A time that were unattainable for his opponents.

Only an unforeseen event could reverse the situation.
The problem is that tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, we won’t have these weather conditions,” Alvaro Bautista said. “The temperatures will be a bit lower, and we can’t excluded that it might rain. Therefore, today’s performances aren’t very reliable. I don’t think I’ll keep this lead.

What kind of races do you expect? Rain permitting.
 “Breaking away isn’t easy, unless you’re really superior on the pace. During the first laps, you can follow the rider in front of you. But, in the end, the tires always play a crucial role. Rea and Razgatlioglu behind? This means that you can run into a negative day this season and be surppassed in the standings by many other riders. Maybe, last year, you’d lose just one or two positions. Today, instead, five or even ten.

Do you have a clear idea about your tires?
 “I’ve already made my choices during the tests at the start of the week. We don’t have many solutions available,” he said jokingly. “For the rear, in long races, I opted for the less harder tire while, in the superpole race, I’ll try the SCO. For the front, the SC1.”

Almost all the Ducatis are competitive. Does it depend on the new Panigale V4 R or on the track?
In these conditions, the Ducati are good or bad. They all go fast in the heat. On the other hand, when it’s cold, a rider like me can have the same sensations, but all the others usually drop.

Imagine a hypothetical last lap race with you and Michael Rinaldi fighting for the win ...
I hope I won’t do anything stupid.” (ed. he laughed.)


Translated by Leila Myftija

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