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SBK, Bautista: "Ducati must take action on the road bike because we are at the limit"

"We have to make progress on the road bike in order to improve, and I know that a new Panigale model is coming, but for me next year is too far away. BMW? The problem was not the bike but the riders."

SBK: Bautista:

Alvaro Bautista is not entirely satisfied at the end of Friday in Misano. A day that saw the Spanish champion finish third in the day's combined standings, almost 5 tenths behind the reference signed by Toprak Razgatlioglu in FP1, after struggling for most of the day to find the right sensations on his Ducati Panigale V4R. On a track where the Iberian rider counts five wins in the last two editions.

"I have won in the past, but now we are in the present and today's was a bit of a strange day," said the Ducati factory team rider. " In FP1 I tried the new front tire brought by Pirelli and the sensations were not good either in terms of grip or in stopping the bike. At the end of the session I mounted the SC1 to verify that the problem was the tire, because I was struggling to stop the bike and also in corner entry, and I had a better feeling when I changed tires, but the problem was that at that point the SCX I had on the rear had already 15 laps and was practically destroyed."

A situation that was repeated in FP2 as well, only in reverse. "In the afternoon, I did the opposite: I started off by fitting the SC1 used in the morning and the new Pirelli rear and again I wasn't very convinced, because the grip and feedback weren't really bad but I was almost out of front tire ," explained the 39-year-old. " In the end, I fitted the SC1 and the standard SCX and again the feeling wasn't the same as in testing. So, we modified the set-up for the last outing and I felt an improvement thanks to which I lapped in 1'33", which is not bad after 15 laps. The strange thing is that I started with the same set-up as in the tests, in which I had a good feeling, while today we had to make some changes to get a good feeling."

Toprak and the BMW are scary in this appointment in Romagna, in which Alvaro will, however, be able to count on the presence of Gigi Dall'Igna.

"I talk to Gigi after every test and every race. We are always in contact not only when he is present and he knows well what my sensations, my requests and what I need. The fact that he is here doesn't change anything at the level of information," commented Bautista, who is looking for a step forward that will help him face his Turkish rival. "In this championship it is difficult to find something that brings an immediate improvement, because you have to be based on the road bike and I think our base now has reached its limit. We have to make steps forward on the road bike in order to improve. At the moment we are not at our best with the bike, because sometimes it works well while others I have problems and that means we have to find a good set-up. That's what I did last year, but for some reason I can't get the same feeling I had then."

A situation that is bound to change after the arrival of the new Panigale in 2025. "I know there will be a new model, although I haven't seen it yet. We'll see, but honestly I'd like to have something new now that we're racing. Next year is too far away for me and who knows what can happen," Bautista noted.

If Toprak also has big podium ambitions in this fourth Round of the season different is the case for the other three BMW standard bearers.

"I said at the beginning of the season, and also last year, that I expected Toprak to be fast with the BMW, because basically I seemed to see a good bike turning with the riders of the brand. For me the problem with the erratic performance was not the bike, but the riders. I want to say that the BMW riders are middle of the pack, while Toprak is top notch and can use the full potential of the bike unlike the others, whose potential in my opinion does not allow them to be fast," commented the two-time SBK champion. before looking a little more in detail at the difficulties Redding encountered in moving from Ducati to BMW.

"Scott I think came to Ducati when the bike was quite far ahead, but then he struggled more in his second year. Getting on a very high performance one and then on one you have to work more on or where you need more data, it's not the same thing," he analyzed, " I'm convinced that if we compare Redding and Razgatlioglu you can clearly see that Toprak is a better rider in any aspect, not just riding. Mentality is also important and he is much more focused on being a rider."

Automatic Translation by DeepL

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