Closing in on factory Kawasaki riders Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea as conditions began to dry, Bautista was the quickest rider on circuit before the first flag-to-flag WorldSBK race of 2022 saw a complete shake-up take place. 

Bautista was looking set to challenge Rea for second place before the six-time champion dashed into pit lane with Toprak Razgatlioglu.

But Bautista, like race leader Lowes, chose to stay out which proved costly as he came out of the pits on the following lap over 10 seconds down on Rea.

"It's been a new experience for everybody, for me and also for the team, having a flag-to-flag race," said Bautista. 

"In the beginning, it was strange in wet conditions because I had a worse feeling than this morning during the practice. 

"I struggled a lot to have some temperature on the tyre and I was suffering a little bit even if I was in the front group. 

"Then I saw that the track was drying step by step. But I wanted to be sure that we'll have a clean line in the dry to make the switch."

While a win was looking out of the question, Bautista was expected to at least close in on the riders ahead after seemingly having the best dry-weather pace this weekend.

Instead, Bautista faded badly as Lowes and Andrea Locatelli got the better of him. 

The Ducati rider blamed his wet set-up for the lack of pace, but that his weight disadvantage meant he also struggled to get heat into his dry tyres.   

"I switched the tyres and with the set-up I had for the wet conditions, it wasn't working so well for the dry tyres," added Bautista. "I didn't have too much confidence. On the front I couldn't brake so hard because the bike started to move and jump a lot but also on with the rear tyre, it was like riding on ice. 

"I needed five or six laps to start to feel some grip on the rear. I think this is a big disadvantage to be light because I cannot put weight on the lap in these kinds of conditions. 

"We depend too much on the setup of the bike. If the setup is nice, I can push like I did in the Superpole where I did a really good lap time on the SC0 tyre. 

"But when the race setting is not the right setting for me it's difficult because the bike is more difficult to go into the corners and I cannot move myself to put some weight at the front or the rear. I am more limited than other riders. 

"Anyway, I'm happy. It has been a new experience. We did a really challenging race. For sure we have some data for the future in case this happen again."