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SBK, Bautista: "Toprak? If the BMW had the speed of the R1 it would do worse than 2023."

"With the same top speed that Razgatlioglu had last year, he would do worse with the BMW, because he is not as strong in corner entry anymore. The comeback in SP Race? I thought the podium would already be a victory."

SBK: Bautista:

After two podiums in the long races and a win in the Superpole Race, Alvaro Bautista is about to leave Assen at the top of the championship standings, six points ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu. The same rival who snatched victory from him in the last race of the Dutch weekend, with a great comeback from ninth position, in a race made intermittently wet by rain.

"Crazy, the only normal race was the Superpole Race this morning, but those were the conditions and there was nothing you could do but adapt. It's a bit of a shame because I think I cooled the tires when it started raining and we slowed down and when I started pushing again I didn't have the same feeling and grip that I had before. In any case, I did everything I could and it went well," commented the two-time Superbike champion, before explaining his race strategy: "I didn't want to get away, I just tried to make my pace and bring the tires to the limit but without overheating them, so I wouldn't arrive without them at the end. If I could have got away better, but that was not my goal. The problem, as I said, arose when it started to rain."

After a fresh battle with the Turk, the Spanish rider analyzed the strengths of the new BMW rider compared to when he was still racing with Yamaha.

"Looking from the outside, last year he was strong in braking and corner entry, where he could lean with confidence. This year, on the other hand, he brakes strong but doesn't enter the corners in the same way, and I don't know if that is because he lacks confidence or if it is the bike that doesn't allow him to do that. Certainly he has improved a lot in terms of acceleration and top speed, but I think if he had the same top speed he had in 2023 with this bike he would do worse, because he is slower than last year in the mixed sections," noted Alvaro, who still expects a three-way fight for the World Championship: "I think it will be Bulega, Toprak and I who will fight for the championship, because we are strong in virtually all conditions. Although some other riders could maybe get into the fight in some races."

As one of the loose cannons one cannot exclude Remy Gardner, who in Race 2 scored his first podium in Superbike with the colors of the GRT team. A result that did not come as much of a surprise to Bautista.

"He was very competitive all weekend and fought for the top positions this morning as well, so I would say I was not surprised. Especially in these conditions," he acknowledged, " Maybe it would have been harder for him to get to the front if it hadn't rained, but he did very well, he took risks at critical moments to stay there. I am happy for him for this first podium."

Although he didn't take the win in the last Dutch round, the Racing - Ducati team rider can console himself with the great comeback he made in the sprint race, thanks to an irresistible finish.

"Having the SCQ I couldn't push hard from the start because I was fighting with the others and I also went off track because I had to come off the brakes after passing Alex to avoid hitting Rinaldi and so I lost several positions. That's why at the end of the race I had more than the others," explained Bautista, surprised in turn that he was able to snatch first place from Bulega.

"I didn't think I could win, especially because I saw Nicolò get away far and very fast at the beginning of the race. I thought that for me, in that situation, it would be like a victory to be able to get to a podium position. But then lap after lap I saw the possibility of finishing on the podium getting closer, and I thought I could finish second, as I didn't think I could catch Bulega - he recounted - However, I saw that the other riders had a big drop in tires, although I didn't understand why, since I had good feelings and less degradation than the crazy one the others had. So, in the end, I was able to catch him and beat him."


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