Former MotoGP rider Alvaro Bautista has brought two difficult WorldSBK seasons at Honda to a close with back-to-back top ten finishes at Mandalika. 

Bautista finished a damp race one in seventh after getting the better of Chaz Davies, before finishing his final race with Honda three places worse off in tenth. 

After race one was postponed until Sunday, Bautista was unable to get the feeling he previously had in the dry as all the rubber laid down was washed away by extreme rain shortly before the scheduled start, thus making it feel like ‘FP1 all over again’.

"It was again difficult after the cancellation of yesterday for safety reasons. Race one was; well, I already in the warm-up felt worse (than previous sessions), especially because the rubber we put on the track was much less and it seemed like it was FP1 all over again," said Bautista. 

"Race one I struggled a little bit because I felt less grip and with some corners still wet it was very critical. 

"I just tried to manage and do my best, while always trying to finish the race. We gained some positions in the race, but for sure the feeling was not the best. 

"In the afternoon when we started on wet tyres, there were some places where there was still standing water, so we had to be careful. Turn five and six especially was a bit tricky. 

"Also the exit from turn nine was very critical because there was a lot of water inside the curb. 

"I didn’t have a good feeling on the wet so I just tried to finish the race back in the box and not in the hospital. The good thing was we could race in front of all the Indonesian fans." 

The Spaniard heads back to Ducati for 2022 as he replaces the outgoing Scott Redding who joins BMW. 

Bautista’s return to the Bolonga-based manufacturer sees him re-join the team he spent his rookie year with, a year in which he took 17 wins and for much of the campaign looked favourite to claim the title.

It will also be a step back to a team that has again been ultra competitive in 2021 as Redding took the third most victories and finished within 63 points of new world champion Toprak Razgatlioglu. 

When summing up his time at Honda, Bautista called it ‘harder than expected’, but one he has learned a lot from ahead of his return to Ducati. 

"It has been much harder than I expected. When I came here I expected to be more competitive, especially after my first year in WorldSBK that I was quite fast," added Bautista. 

"I felt good with the bike. But here I found completely new bikes and starting from zero was not easy. It was not easy to fight for the front positions. 

"This second year I expected maybe a big improvement but that did not happen. Again, we started the season more or less like last year, so no big changes and we worked a lot on the bike. 

"Unfortunately, from the mid-season point we decided not to make any big changes on the bike, on the set-up, the frame, because basically in the first few races we tried many, many things, but in the end we found nothing that could help me to go faster and to have better feelings. 

"It has been very hard, but at the same time I have learned a lot. My first year with the Superbike I went really fast and was competitive and maybe I didn’t care about some details that in that moment led me to make mistakes. 

"But now, for example with tyres and these two years overall I feel much better now."