Bautista predicts Martin, Binder wins - but he will make most overtakes

Reigning World Superbike champion Alvaro Bautista has predicted race wins for Jorge Martin and Brad Binder at this weekend’s Malaysian MotoGP, but that he will make the most overtakes.
Alvaro Bautista MotoGP test
Alvaro Bautista MotoGP test

With his WorldSBK season over, Bautista is making a much-anticipated return to MotoGP as a Ducati wild-card at Sepang.

It will be the Spaniard’s first grand prix appearance since 2018.

Making his predictions for the weekend on the Guru Show, Bautista tipped title contender Jorge Martin for pole position and the Saturday Sprint race victory but feels KTM’s Brad Binder will take the Sunday grand prix honours.

“I think the KTM is working really well in hot conditions,” Bautista explained, before adding: “And [most] overtakes, me!”

The 38-year-old, who sealed his second consecutive WorldSBK crown with 27 victories out of 36 races this season, has tasted previous success at Sepang by winning in the 125 and 250GP classes.

“For sure Sepang is a good track for me. I like it a lot. I will try to repeat again the 125 the 250cc victories. Why not?!”

But Bautista knows that stepping into MotoGP will be a huge challenge and acknowledges the recent pair of fourth places by KTM wild-card Dani Pedrosa at Misano have only increased expectations.

“No pressure!” he laughed, when asked about Pedrosa’s performances.

“Dani has a lot of experience with the MotoGP because he’s a test rider for KTM and he did a lot of tests in Misano. And for sure he has a lot of talent.

“But believe me it is not easy to do what he did. So big applause for him because he did incredibly well.”

“I think the most difficult will be battling with all the other riders,” Bautista said. “And I don’t know what feeling to expect from the bike in those moments.”

Bautista will take to the track alongside the 2022 MotoGP field on Friday morning, which will also signal the first of just three remaining rounds for Marc Marquez as a Repsol Honda rider.

“I didn't think that he would do this move. I was a bit surprised,” Bautista admitted of the #93’s switch to Gresini Ducati next season.

“But at the end, he thought about himself and I think his target is just to enjoy the bike again.

“Because I think he's suffering a lot, after the big injury he never recovered total confidence with the bike, or he cannot enjoy [himself].”

Bautista, who has completed several private tests this year on the Desmosedici GP23 he will use at Sepang, took three MotoGP podiums during 158 starts as a full-time MotoGP rider from 2010 to 2018.

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