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SBK, Bautista admits, "After Sepang I thought about retirement"

"The wild card in MotoGP was supposed to be a dream, but instead it turned into a nightmare. I arrived in Sepang and couldn't ride. If I had had the same feelings in pre-season testing, I would have stopped racing."

SBK: Bautista admits,

More than Phillip Island, Montmeló will be the litmus test of Alvaro Bautista 's level of competitiveness in this 2024. On a traditional track like the Catalan one, the 39-year-old Spaniard has always managed to make a difference on his rivals, dominating the entire race weekend in the last two years. However, so many are the unknowns on the eve of this first European Round of the season, which Bautista faces after a two-day test that did not end with the hoped-for outcome and a winter conditioned by the ballast added to his Ducati and the aftermath of the accident suffered in last November's Jerez tests. A highside that had major consequences for Alvaro, who suffered a herniated C6-C7 cervical vertebrae and a disc protusion at the C5-C6 vertebrae.

"Reading the diagnosis is scary, but my feeling was even worse. What was supposed to be a dream, the wild card in MotoGP with a good bike and after some good tests, turned into a nightmare ," the Ducati rider told in an interview granted to the Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo. " After the accident I was fine, but after a few days I started to have discomfort, I had no strength in my arm. I got there and I couldn't drive. Rarely have I had so much pain. I tried to stay calm, and on Saturday I told the team, who had noticed it from the telemetry. On Sunday I faced the race out of respect for the team."

A difficult situation to deal with, to the point of pushing Bautista to consider hanging up his helmet.

"The whole winter was very hard, in December the situation got worse. I even thought that if I had the same feelings in pre-season testing that I had in Sepang I would stop racing. It was impossible to ride like that," admitted the Ducati rider, who little by little managed to regain the right condition. "Fortunately I worked very well with my physiotherapist and in January I took a big step forward, which allowed me to have strength in my arm, even though I had some discomfort in my neck and back. In Australia I regained the feeling with the bike that I lacked this winter and little by little I am coming back. I didn't start as a leader, but I'm still very happy because I saw a category that I like, which motivated me and gave me more desire to keep working and improving, because I want to be at the level to fight for the victory at every race."

All stimuli that could push the Iberian rider to extend his agreement with Ducati. Just as he expects his chief technician Giulio Nava, who in our Bar Sport had admitted that he did not believe in his retirement at the end of 2024.

"That's because Giulio didn't talk to me in December ," commented Bautista, who will turn 40 next November, laughing, " Age is the least important thing, the important thing is that I continue to have fun and ride the way I like. This winter I was very worried about my feelings, but now I have recovered and I am quite motivated. I will have to make a decision soon, also for the team. I will wait for two or three races. I want to race in Barcelona, try to fully feel the sensations, and then we'll see what happens."

Automatic Translation by DeepL

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