Alvaro Bautista is at a loss to explain why he crashed out of the first World Superbike Championship race at Laguna Seca as he counts the cost of his fourth accident in eight races.

The ex-MotoGP rider slipped off at turn five on lap four whilst dicing for the lead with Chaz Davies and Jonathan Rea, the front-folding beneath him into a low-side much to his evident disbelief.

Indeed, the incident is the latest chapter in a remarkable slump in fortunes for the Spaniard, who appeared to be marching towards the WorldSBK title as recently as three rounds ago having reeled off 13 victories in 15 races, including 11 in-a-row on the Ducati Panigale V4 R.

However, the metronomic consistency that defined his incredible start to life in WorldSBK is exactly what has been missing from Bautista’s armoury in recent races after a crash at Jerez was followed by an identical one at Misano.

A third fall in the wet at Donington Park lost him the series lead and now his Laguna Seca raises yet more questions as to reasons why the Spaniard is now getting loose on the bike.

Indeed, the man himself says he cannot understand why this crash happened, saying he felt comfortable beforehand.

“Unfortunately, we’ve been hit by bad luck in the last few races. Today I crashed without really knowing the reason why, in addition at that moment I wasn’t even pushing to the limit.

“After a good start I was fighting with Chaz and Jonathan but I suddenly lost the front at Turn 5 and crashed out. I feel pretty bad about it because I think I could have had a chance of a win. This is racing, we must now look ahead, not give in and continue to work hard.”

From a 61 point advantage ahead of race two in Jerez last month, Bautista has dropped 49 points behind Rea in just eight races – a total swing of 110 points.

 

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