Alvaro Bautista ‘not super happy’ but fastest as high winds mean ‘nothing’ learned

Alvaro Bautista admits day-one of the Dutch WorldSBK round will have very little bearing on the rest of the weekend.

Alvaro Bautista, Dutch WorldSBK, 19 April
Alvaro Bautista, Dutch WorldSBK, 19 April

Despite finishing fastest, two-time WorldSBK champion Alvaro Bautista was not completely thrilled.

Damp patches and heavy winds meant an accurate assessment of where everyone stands was hard to make. 

But the factory Ducati rider did claim to have a similar feeling as Barcelona, which could bode well for Bautista, who won Race 2 at the Catalan round.

“With the weather it was very hard here,” began Bautista. “With the rain, the wind; the in the afternoon was too strong and in the back straight, when you came out of the paddock zone you could just feel the wind.

“I had to do the straight with lean [angle] otherwise I would have gone out of the track. It was really difficult in some areas of the track. 

“But at least in this condition I found good feedback with the bike, similar to Barcelona. It was difficult for everybody.

“I’m not super happy but at least we are quite good. We will see tomorrow what the weather is doing.”

Asked what he could learn on a day where limited grip and dry track time was on offer, Bautista said not much.

“Nothing, because the reference from the previous years can’t be used,” added the Spaniard. “The track needs to have more rubber.

“Even in the morning, if we had almost the whole session dry but the grip was low. In the afternoon, it was similar.

“Between FP1 and FP2 it rained a lot and the small rubber put down disappeared. So in the afternoon we had the same conditions.

“The only difference in the afternoon was that I was using the tyres I normally like and I felt comfortable, but in these conditions it is difficult to make two laps with the same line because the wind pushed you out in many areas. It’s difficult to learn something.”

Conditions aside, Bautista was fast and consistent which was also the case in Barcelona.

But one area Bautista will want that to carry over to is Superpole, which has been his weakness so far in 2024.

Bautista said: “Superpole is always important because you get a position for the grid and this year it is [more] important to get a good position at the beginning. 

“The lap times are very close and you cannot recover the gap. The Superpole has not been our strong point so far this season.

“I struggled with the feeling in the first two rounds. Let’s see here. We have to try and adapt to the conditions on the track.”

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