Uonce, the SBK world championship opened the engine season, while now it is the last to start. In recent years, the level of the championship for motorcycles derived from the series has also risen a lot with at least three manufacturers and four riders who can aim for the 2022 world championship: we talk about it with Alvaro Bautista. First, however, let’s focus on the MotoGP and on the Termas de Rio Hondo track, that Alvaro knows very well: in 2017 he finished fourth with Ducati.
“It is a beautiful track, with a very fast part, with corners to manage with the gas where the rear tire slips a lot, with a long straight and a violent braking where there is the possibility of overtaking. I think it’s a suitable circuit for Ducati ”.
As for the SBK, Bautista is convinced that he has nothing to envy to MotoGP: “It’s a very nice championship, very interesting, with bikes very similar to those you can buy to go around the street: whoever buys a Ducati from the dealer has the same bike I use on the track. Then there are three races: difficult to manage, not so much physically, but psychologically. After race 1 you cannot relax, you have to keep your concentration because on Sunday there are two other races: you have to control mental stress well “.
After a phenomenal year with Ducati (in 2019), Bautista spent two seasons in Honda, before returning to the Borgo Panigale Red in 2022: Alvaro explains the reasons for this choice. “I have an excellent relationship with the Aruba team: at the beginning of 2021 they asked me if I was still interested in Ducati. With the Honda I did not find what I expected, the sensations were not so good, while with the Ducati I have always found myself at ease. Well, when there was the possibility of returning to Ducati, I didn’t think about it for a moment. Getting back on this bike was a wonderful feeling, everything comes naturally to me, I don’t have to think about what I have to do ”.
Obviously we’re talking about 2019of a championship that was first dominated and then incredibly lost: “No one expected such a start to the season, as no one expected such a complicated end to the season. I think it was a lack of experience, I didn’t know the championship, the tires, the tracks. The team was also in their first year with V4, sometimes we made a mistake in fixing the bike. Now I know everything better, the team has more control over the situation, the V4 is now simpler. I lost the championship, more than Rea won it, because my advantage was great ”.
Bautista is not unbalanced in predictions for 2022but the goal is clear: “I worked a lot on myself, even mentally, I did a more complete training: the goal is to have fun with the bike, to exploit its potential, which is very high, to learn from the mistakes made in recent years. We have good speed: it is clear that with the package we have we can fight to win ”.
Alvaro naturally also talks about his opponents: “Yamaha has taken a step forward, Kawasaki is always there and Rea wants to be number one again. My teammate, Rinaldi, is very young and is very hungry for victory ”.
With Bautista we also talk about Marc Marquez and much more.