The Ducati rider, who will have his first match-point of the season in Saturday’s Race 1, was four tenths clear of Toprak Razgatlioglu as big margins were the story of day-one. 

A lack of grip in FP1 resulted in lap times being a long way of the type of race pace expected in all three races this weekend, however, FP2 was much more representative as Razgatlioglu appeared strongest. 

But with Bautista in position to win the title even if he’s beaten by Razgatlioglu in all three races, stopping the Spaniard from winning the title this weekend looks like a tough task, even at this early stage. 

Razgatlioglu topped FP1 with Bautista seven tenth further back in third, but most of that was due to the Ducati rider taking longer to adapt to the conditions - conditions he claims have left a very thin racing line even with improvements in FP2.

"In the afternoon it was better but we have 60 centimetres of track we can use. The rest we cannot use," stated Bautista. 

"I think it’s better. When it will be normal conditions after some races then I think the asphalt won’t be broken like last year,” added the former MotoGP rider when asked about the asphalt after the Mandalika circuit underwent another resurfacing. 

"I can remember last year in FP1, especially corner one, it was crazy. Today there was nothing. I think it’s better, definitely."

WorldSBK championship leader in no mood to change strategy

Although Bautista has a massive advantage and can therefore take less risks this weekend, the Ducati man is aiming to continue riding with the same mentality as the previous ten rounds. 

"It’s a good position to be in but at the same time I don’t like to relax," added Bautista. "I want to improve like a rider, I want to always be a bit better and when you relax you lose some time. 

"It’s like you have to recover. For me it’s not like we two races left. We [also] have 2023 and for me I want to improve. 

"To improve you need to be ambitious and try to get the maximum in every condition. One thing is to be relaxed and the other is to not take too much risk. 

"But it will be the same as all of this year. I will keep this way until at least the end of 2023."