Alvaro Bautista has ‘almost no pain’ for first time this year

Alvaro Bautista says he’s very close to being fully fit after completing the one-day Phillip Island test.

Alvaro Bautista, Australian WorldSBK, 20 February
Alvaro Bautista, Australian WorldSBK, 20 February

Alvaro Bautista was heavily impacted at both the Jerez and Portimao WorldSBK tests last month, but that is all change heading into the season-opener.

Bautista was able to complete the one-day test at Phillip Island with minimum discomfort, as he looks to retain his title for a second consecutive year. 

The two-time world champion was still unable to challenge for the top positions, however, his race pace continued to be very strong.

“This test was important for us to see how my physical condition was after the Jerez and Portimao tests,” said Bautista. “I can say that I’m much, much better.

“Today I’m really happy with my physical condition. It was the first time after my last race in Jerez that I started to feel better with the bike and feel less pain.

“I think it has been really positive. Today was the first day of 2024 testing because it’s the first day I could be more focused on the bike, than the pain.

“I’m happy about that but for sure, I missed some feeling with the bike, especially on this track which is really fast and has many corners where you need to have good feedback with the bike to push.

“But during the day I went from less to more. We have room for improvement but I can say that today is like the 0-point and we have to improve.”

While Bautista feels as though he’s starting from zero regarding performance, his fitness levels improved greatly during the Australian test.

Feeling next to no pain, Bautista said: “In terms of pain I’m at 1 or 0 [out of ten], almost nothing. But the feeling with the bike is different and I need to work to find it.

“We started by changing the set-up a bit because the new surface is different to last year. Now there is a lot of grip.

“We tried to adjust the bike a bit with many solutions. But the solutions had positives and negatives. What we found is more negative than positive.

“At the end of the day we returned to our standard set-up from last year. It allowed me to have a better feeling with the bike and to push more.

“We are far from our best performance. I can say that we are around a 6 in terms of performance.”

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