Alvaro Bautista heads into the lengthy World Superbike Championship summer break needing to recover and recalibrate after a dismal Laguna Seca weekend saw him leave with a shoulder injury and no points.

Compounding a desperate run of form for the ex-MotoGP rider, whose record-breaking 11 wins at the start of the WorldSBK season appeared to set him on a course for a dominant title win, Bautista has now suffered issues in six of the last ten races.

Bautista’s woes were compounded in the Superpole Race when he clipped the back of Toprak Razgatlioglu’s Kawasaki and came down hard on his left shoulder, later diagnosed as a ‘separation’. He’d start race two but pull out after a single lap.

Pointing the finger of blame at Razgatlioglu for ‘closing the line’ and leaving him with nowhere to go, Bautista is thankful for the upcoming break to get back to full fitness and to refocus.

“I really feel bad about what happened,” he said. “At Turn 1 in the Superpole Race, Razgatlioglu completely closed my line and I couldn’t do anything to prevent his rear wheel from hitting my front. His move ruined both of my races today because I injured my left shoulder in the crash.

“I was taken to the medical centre and after checks, I was given the OK by the doctors to try and take part in Race 2, seeing as the X-ray showed that nothing was broken. Unfortunately, after just one lap I realized that the pain was too much for me to ride because as I didn’t have any strength in my left arm, I wasn’t able to brake in the left-handers, and for this reason I came into the pits.

Having established a lead of 61 points over Rea at one stage, Bautista now faces down a margin of 81 points to the Kawasaki rider, marking a 142-point swing in just ten races.

“I’m very sorry because we are working really well and always find the way to go fast, but in any case we’re going through a really difficult time at the moment. I’m sure that if we continue to work in this way, we’ll come back stronger than ever and with even more desire to win.

“As soon as I get back home, I’ll have more detailed checks done on my shoulder ligaments, but luckily two months’ break before the next race will surely allow me to fully recover.”

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