Alvaro Bautista says he would have preferred MotoGP organisers to cancel the 2017 season opener until the Monday after two rain delays on the starting grid on Sunday night.
The Pull&Bear Aspar Ducati rider has admitted he always feels he struggles racing under the floodlights at Qatar but says the delay to the start of the race due to intermittent rain saw humidity levels rise which made conditions even trickier than in previous years.
Despite his concerns, the Spanish rider made a storming start at Losail by moving up to sixth over the opening laps but his race was ended prematurely by a crash at the final corner on lap eight.
Bautista says he wasn't doing 'anything special and keeping my rhythm' so the crash came as a complete surprise but pointed at weather conditions as a contributing factor.
“The track conditions were not perfect and also when we were on the grid for me it was too late to make the race,” Bautista said. “The humidity was really high and for me it would have been better if we cancelled the race and we raced tomorrow [Monday] which would have been safer.
“Anyway, we did start, 40 minutes later, so when we normally finish the race we started so the track conditions were a bit tricky. I was able to make a good start and gain some positions but then in the last corner I crashed. I don't know why yet because I didn't push harder I just kept my rhythm.
“With these conditions and the humidity on the track you can sometimes crash without knowing why, that's what happened. I didn't do anything special compared to normal, I didn't push harder than usual.
“I always have trouble at night, I've never had a good race here at night in all categories from 250cc to MotoGP. I always have had trouble. This year I expected better but no way."
Since the Qatar MotoGP race was first held under floodlights in 2008, Bautista's best finishes have been a pair of sixth places (250cc in 2008 and in MotoGP in 2013).
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Despite his frustrations Bautista is confident of a stronger outing for round two in Argentina with more familiar racing conditions with the Ducati GP16.
“I will keep the positives that we had a good start, I was sixth in that moment, and the leaders just two seconds in front. We keep that and we forget the off.
“I think we worked really well during the pre-season and this weekend was very difficult with the weather. I am confident for the next race with the normal schedule in the daylight.”
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