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MotoGP: Bautista: Ducati best balanced bike I've ridden

"I think the Honda is the most similar, but the Ducati chassis handles better and it is lighter" - Alvaro Bautista.
When Alvaro Bautista competes in the Qatar Grand Prix he will become the only rider on the grid to have raced four different 'factory' MotoGP machines.

Aleix Espargaro, who has replaced Bautista at Aprilia, may have already raced with four different brands of premier-class bike - but two of those were in the former CRT/Open class.

Bautista has spent his entire career on official 'factory class' machines, first with Suzuki, then Honda (satellite) and Aprilia. The Spaniard has now switched to the Aspar Ducati team, where he will ride a GP16, a bike that claimed two victories last season.

"The first time I rode the Ducati GP16 it felt 'easy' to handle, compared to other MotoGP bikes I have ridden," Bautista said. "I really like the character of the engine, it is very smooth. I also really like the electronics. I think it is a bike with a lot of potential.

"It is hard to compare with other bikes because my references have changed over the years as I have gathered experience.

"On the Suzuki I learnt a lot about MotoGP but it had a different character. I think the Honda is the most similar, but the Ducati chassis handles better and it is lighter, I like it more.

"For me, of all of the bikes I have ridden, I think the Ducati is well balanced."

Bautista took part in two tests for Aspar last November, an official outing at Valencia followed by a private test at Jerez, where he was fastest of the MotoGP riders present.

"In the tests we have done so far we have learnt something new each time, improved, and raised the bar. I still don't know where I need to improve or where I am at the limit already," he admitted.

As far as predictions, the former 125cc world champion, 250cc race winner and triple MotoGP podium finisher stated:

"I think it will be a fun season, with so many rider changes; especially at the start as riders get used to their bikes, encounter problems, get over them… then there are the tyres, which were decisive last year.

"If we can get the most out of what we have there is no reason why we won't be up there fighting. To be fighting in the top five would be a good result. It will be difficult but I think it can be a realistic objective."

Tagged as: Bautista

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January 13, 2017 1:47 PM
Last Edited 10 days ago

The fourth different factory bike, ok, but it's actually the first time when Alvaro will ride a package capable of winning races, (unlike his Showa history) and he has made no secret he's feeling well with GP16. Go Alvaro and show them that you can stay with the front guys ! Make 2017 one of your best seasons !


January 13, 2017 4:52 PM

This is the first time he's in a MotoGP team where he doesn't need to carry the development of the bike on his shoulders and can finally directly compare his settings and speed to several other riders. Should be a lot of fun to see what he can do next year when he can fully concentrate on just getting the maximum out of what he has and not being held back by poor machinery. He's clearly still motivated and it's good to hear him being so positive about his first impressions with the Ducati. Though I am not surprised, given the dogs he's ridden before. I think Aprilia's somewhat absurd decision to let both riders go was a godsend for him.

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