Alvaro Bautista drops massive clue about retirement plans

"There start to be more factors outside of the family that can effect my future"

Alvaro Bautista, Race1, Dutch WorldSBK, 20 April
Alvaro Bautista, Race1, Dutch WorldSBK, 20 April

Alvaro Bautista does not want to say “I stop” - not yet, at least.

The Ducati rider will be 40 years old if he chooses to sign a new contract to extend his career into next year.

But, he tops the World Superbikes standings after three rounds and has offered a new clue about what he intends to do in 2025.

“I don’t know as at the moment,” Bautista said. “I don’t have the feeling to say ‘I stop’.

“I’m just focused on recovering the feeling and enjoying it. I don’t feel pressure or that it’s my work, just relaxed and that it’s my hobby.

“I want to enjoy my hobby. The moment I wake up in the morning and don’t think, ‘I want to be a better rider’, I will stop.

“At the moment, I want to be better to enjoy the bike.”

Bautista added: “In the end, family is very important; especially now, as my daughters are bigger and they understand more about my life, work and travels.

“But at the moment, my feeling is that they enjoy my world a lot. It’s always a big pleasure for me to keep racing and enjoying the time with them.

“However, it’s not only the family. I’ve been many years at a high level of competition, the age and there start to be more factors outside of the family that can effect my future.

“There’s new rivals too but fortunately, I have good support from my family and friends and that’s important to keep me focused on racing.”

'When you're younger, you recover sooner'

Bautista entered the 2024 WSBK season after being diagnosed with nerve damage, sustained in a wildcard MotoGP appearance at the end of last year.

“Maybe when you’re younger, you recover sooner but it’s true that for me, I’d never had an injury like this in the past,” Bautista said.

“Fortunately, the injuries I had before were like broken bones or something like that where it is easy to recover.

“It’s a new kind of injury for me but in Spain, we say ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, so after this injury, I felt better because I had to work in another area of my body or in a different way.

“This injury made me feel like I’m improving myself and I discovered a new area where I can improve to be better. In the end, I took the positive thing of the injury.”

He added: “If you’d told me at the beginning of the season, before the first race and after the winter where my feeling with my bike and myself was not the best, that I’d be leading the Championship after Round 3, I’d not be able to believe it.

“It’s been a good surprise to lead the Championship after a strange weekend in Australia and the tricky conditions at Assen, where I struggled before in the cold and wet.

“Right now, I want to have a good feeling with the bike; it’s not the same feeling as last year so before thinking about the future, I want to recover the feeling and the feeling of being 100% at my best.

“Right now, I feel like we are 85% or 90%. I keep racing because I enjoy it and because I’m doing my best but right now, I don’t think we’re in our best so first of all, I want to recover this feeling. Then, I’ll think about the future.”

Bautista is hoping to win his third consecutive WSBK championship this year.

“Winning is always nice! To battle is always nice too,” he said.

“I started last year by winning many races and also the whole year, it wasn’t like I had everything under control but more or less like ‘if I do this, this and this, I can win the race’, as I knew the rivals really well.

“However, this year is different. The riders are different, the level is different, I started with the physical problem and this year, I don’t know why but I feel more motivation and more eagerness to work harder to be better.

“I feel the level is higher so if I want to be competitive now, I have to work harder – but it’s not a ‘motivation’, it’s because I want to be competitive so I need to work more.

“It’s not like other riders where if they win and if they face difficulties, think that ‘I’ve done many years so I’ll stay at home, I don’t need to keep working and trying to improve my ways’; for me it’s different.

“That’s what is happening this year with all the changes; it has given me more confidence in my work to try and reach the best performance.”

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