Alvaro Bautista will get his second WorldSBK campaign with HRC underway this weekend at MotorLand Aragon, but will do so at less than 100%. 

The Spanish rider is still recovering from a training injury that meant he was unable to complete both days of the lone Official WorldSBK test in early April. 

However, the former MotoGP rider’s condition has significantly improved over the last month, therefore leading Bautista to believe full participation at this weekend’s season opener is not in doubt. 

"I am looking forward to the races as the winter’s been too long! Physically I'm feeling better, maybe not 100% yet but I don’t think I’ll have any problems completing a full race weekend," added the Spaniard. 

"As far as the bike development work is concerned, I think we have taken some good steps with respect to last year and my feeling with the bike has improved. We have also refined our work in the garage, strengthening some areas. 

"We are still in the development phase, but I am happy with the work HRC has done over the winter. 

"Here at Aragón, we will also be reunited with all the Japanese engineers who were unable to attend the tests this winter due to logistical, pandemic-related problems, though they were following us remotely of course." 

After a rookie season on the Ducati that yielded 16 wins, last year for Bautista and team-mate Leon Haslam was very much a development year aboard the CBF1000RR-R Fireblade. 

And although the team struggled to consistently fight at the front, both riders but especially Bautista showed its capabilities by taking a podium at Aragon. 

With a third place finish in race two, and the season getting underway at the same venue this Friday, it’s perhaps a perfect starting place for Bautista who touched on that by saying: "I am also happy to be starting at a circuit where we reached the podium last year. 

"Motorland is not an easy track because it has a bit of everything - slow and fast corners, changes in elevation and direction, and hard braking points. 

"But at the same time it is beautiful and enjoyable, and I’ve always really liked it. We are all very motivated and hope to make a good start to the championship."