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SBK, Bautista: "Dall'Igna knew how to read me in 125, I'm not interested in retiring as a winner"

VIDEO - "Before Australia it was unthinkable to be at this level, but against Toprak I ran out of cartridges. If BMW gets into MotoGP he can be the right rider and he would have been strong even in my place on the Ducati. Marquez? I expected that, but I don't know if he will be World Champion or not."

SBK, Bautista: "Dall'Igna knew how to read me in 125, I'm not interested in retiring as a winner"
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He is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated riders in Misano. Who are we talking about? Simple, Alvaro Bautista. The Spaniard arrives at the Riviera round as first in his class and for the occasion he wanted to dedicate us this interview between past, present and future.

With the Ducati Aruba rider we talked about Superbike, from the tussle with Toprak for the fight at the top and at the same time about the current dynamics in MotoGP. As always frank and smiling, the reigning champion did not shy away from our questions, relaunching his title challenge starting with the Riviera round, scheduled for this weekend

"I'm coming to Misano stoked and physically I'm at 100 percent - he began - ahead of the weekend, however, I'll have to improve my confidence with the bike, considering what the winter has been like and everything we've experienced in recent months. At the moment we are still not quite right with the Panigale but I hope to be ready for the weekend, as it will be a difficult round."

Your rival is once again Toprak. From what you have seen to date, do you think you have any extra weapons to play against him?
"Toprak will be a threat because he is strong as we know. I, however, do not have any more weapons and cartridges at my disposal than what can be seen. However, I want to be confident and to date I am really surprised to be first in the championship, because before Australia such a thing was unthinkable. What has made the difference in this first part of the Championship is having made concrete every single result. The World Championship? I think Toprak and Bulega will be my rivals. There is also Iannone, but we have to see how he will perform on tracks unfamiliar to him. Andrea, however, has been fast and consistent in all the races, and that has surprised me."

There is also talk about your future, where everyone is waiting for your decision.
"First of all I want to have the confidence I need with the bike and then I will decide what to do. Clearly I cannot wait until the end of the year, but at the moment no one has asked me to decide. I think right now the priority is the renewal between Ducati and Aruba. Then I too will decide what to do based on how I feel riding the Panigale."

How much does retiring as a winner or not weigh down on you?
"That doesn't matter to me, let alone affect me. For me, more than winning, it's important to have fun when I ride. If the day I get out of bed I no longer feel that urge I stop. That said, I am very proud of my career and I am not worried about making the choice."

As of this season you also have to deal with ballast. How difficult is it?

"In comparison with others I struggle a lot more, because the bike is heavier, it moves more and I have to put my body out further. I still try to do the most with what I have. As I've always said minimum weight makes no sense, in fact even in MotoGP we haven't seen it despite the fact that there are lighter bikes there than ours."

What about Iannone? He would like a factory bike in 2025 and among his dreams is a factory Ducati.
"I would understand if we were in MotoGP, where there is a difference between factory and satellite bikes. In Superbike, however, my bike is the same as his, since we are talking about factory derived machines. Maybe the difference will be made by the team, since with mine there is an important experience behind it."

Gigi Dall'Igna will also be present at Misano. What is the memory that ties you to him?
"125cc obviously. It was incredible to work with him and I remember the title he won with the Aprilia 125 RS, because that was his real bike, designed by him. Working with Gigi was always something special, because he helped me with words and listened to what my feelings were, going beyond the numbers. Gigi was always one of those who could read me, understanding my needs, in fact we won in 125 and then in 250. And today we are here again."

Let's talk about MotoGP. What do you say about this Marquez guy?
"Marc I expected him to be so strong, he just needed a good bike to regain his confidence and competitiveness. Ducati was the right choice for him. At the moment I think he's still not 100 percent with the Desmosedici, but it's coming. The title? I don't know whether or not he will fight for the World Championship, because Martin is very strong and doesn't risk as much as maybe he did in the past."

What if Toprak were to go to MotoGP?
"Toprak is young, I think that should BMW arrive in MotoGP, the best thing is to choose someone like him."

In 2020 he was close to getting on Ducati because his management had talked to Aruba and Borgo Panigale? How would you have viewed that?
"I didn't know that. He would have been strong, I think is a strong rider with any bike."


Translated by Julian Thomas

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