Alvaro Bautista ‘not worried’ by FP2 position, ‘I stopped a lot’

Alvaro Bautista says he’s not worried after having to stop many times throughout Friday practice at the Phillip Island WorldSBK round.

Alvaro Bautista, Australian WorldSBK, 23 February
Alvaro Bautista, Australian WorldSBK, 23 February

Alvaro Bautista concluded day-one of the WorldSBK season-opener in 12th place on combined times.

A five tenths gap separated Bautista from pacesetter Alex Lowes, but with mixed conditions and heavy wind dominating the day, plus electronics issues on Bautista’s machine, a clear picture of the order was hard to take away.

“It was a very ‘special’ Friday for everybody because in both practices it started raining just before,” said Bautista. “We didn’t make a lot of time on track and in FP2 we found some issues with the electronics. 

“Also, we tried a different set-up to improve my feeling and it didn’t work. I stopped a lot of times and didn’t do a lot of laps. 

“But the few laps that I did with the set-up that I used this morning, and was quite happy with, I was good and consistent.

“I’m happy with today because my physical condition is good and I felt more flow on the bike. My feelings are coming.

“Then, about the position; the lap times are really fast and everybody is very close. I’m not worried about the position and I’m more focused on myself and my feelings. It was a short but positive Friday.”

Bautista was seen wagging his hand when re-entering the box during FP2, but the two-time world champion played it down after the session.

“It was the total of everything because it started to rain before and I tried to make a lap to see the condition, but then there was a red flag,” added Bautista. 

“Then, when I started again I had an electronic issue and then I restarted again with the set-up that I didn’t feel comfortable with, so in the end it was chaos.

“But the important thing is that I got a good feeling with the bike in the end.”

When speaking about his chances for this weekend, Bautista was confident that he will be in the mix.

The Spaniard said: “I’m confident in myself and that the feeling with the bike is coming. Step-by-step it’s getting better and we will try to improve every session tomorrow.

“I think I can do 20 laps with the tyres, not like doing a time attack every lap. It was possible to do 20 laps and it depends how you work with your bike.

“But we have to make a compulsory pit stop and the strategy has to be to do two Superpole races.”

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