The new WorldSBK champion made an instinctive decision to switch from full wets to dry tyres while most of the grid went for the intermediate option.

The Ducati rider looked to have made the wrong call as he dropped out of the points having started from pole, however, a rapidly drying circuit gave Bautista just enough time to not only fight his way back into the points but overhaul Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea for victory on the penultimate lap. 

Confirming the decision was his, Bautista said members of his team thought he was crazy for making such a call: "They didn't say anything, but they certainly thought so. Fortunately I have a lot of experience with this track and with such weather from my MotoGP days. 

"Even after a lot of rain, the track can dry up within a few laps – and that's how it happened. I'm very proud, but I also needed big balls to start like this.

"When I rode out of the pits, I thought there was less water. I rode behind Rinaldi and got his spray. That's when I thought 'shit' for the first time.

"I had told my crew chief Giulio to change to a dry setup. He asked me if I was sure and if I could already see that it had rained a lot and everything is wet. I said 'believe me, convert to dry setup'. He said 'okay'. 

"When I was on the starting grid, I had my doubts. He told me he had three tires: rain, intermediate, slick. For a short time I didn't know what to do - I was expecting less water on the track." 

Lack of pace with intermediate tyres forces the WorldSBK champion’s hand

As the debate with his crew chief but also himself continued, Bautista ultimately went for dry tyres due to his lack of speed with the intermediates. 

"He advised me on a rain tyre on the front and intermediate on the rear, that was the safe option," continued Bautista. "But I'm not fast with an intermediate. and I saw that the straight line dried up in the middle.

"So I took a risk and went for slicks. He asked, 'Are you sure?' Me: 'Yes!' I'm sure everyone thought I was crazy."

Another factor in Bautista’s decision to gamble with the dry tyres was the fact he already clinched the world title.

With the pressure completely off his shoulders as Razgatlioglu and Rea were instead battling for second in the WorldSBK standings, the Spaniard claimed he had nothing to lose.

Bautista added: "If things are going well for you, you're lucky too. You have to be strong, but also lucky. But there is also the fact that I have a lot of confidence in my bike and in my driving. 

"If the world championship hadn't been decided yet, I would have chosen the safe option. But I had nothing to lose, so I tried."