Team HRC looked to be on course for a top five finish with Alvaro Bautista during race one of the 2021 WorldSBK season, but a late crash at turn two halted any thoughts of a podium challenge. 

Bautista made steady progress throughout the race following a poor start and was running fifth with only a few laps to go. 

But an ‘electronic sensor problem’ resulted in the 2019 series runner-up encountering ‘gearing issues’, before crashing out. 

"It's really a pity about today because we were running a very competitive, high-performance race. Through the first laps, I lost a little bit of time fighting with other riders," said Bautista. 

"This caused a little bit of a gap to open between me and the group ahead, but once I’d found my rhythm and made some passes, I was able to lap strongly and catch up to the podium contenders. 

"I had a good chance to stay there and fight until the end but unfortunately, three or four laps from the end, I started to have some gearing issues. Every lap it got a little worse and then right at the end I crashed at turn two. 

"When we analysed the data, we saw that there was an electronic problem with a sensor, and so in the middle of the corner I was at full power and lost the rear tyre." 

Turn two at Aragon is a notorious hotspot for crashes due to the right side of the tyre not seeing any action for over 25 seconds. 

But this was not the type of crash for Bautista who is instead seeing the positives from a race where race pace was strong. The 36 year-old said: "A shame, but luckily, I am unhurt and, if we look on the positive side, we can be happy with our race performance. 

"Tomorrow we have two more opportunities and so we’ll see how it goes. I am happy with the work we’re doing because we are getting closer and closer to the leaders and hopefully tomorrow, we can finish the races with good results."

 

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