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SBK 2024. GP of the Netherlands. Alvaro Bautista: “In the end, Toprak and I will fight for the title” – Superbike –

Vaseline 3 months ago

Certainly not an easy weekend for your drivers

“Yes it is true. Ultimately we can say that the only race that was held under ‘normal’ conditions was the Superpole race. But these are races and we drivers have to adapt to the different weather and track conditions.”

What did you also miss to win Race 2?

“When it started to rain in some sectors, I had to slow down my pace and the tires got cold. When I started pushing hard again, the grip of the tires and my feeling with the bike were no longer the same.”

Why were you behind at the start in the sprint race?

“I was fast at the beginning, but when I overtook Alex Lowes under braking, I ended up in front of Rinaldi under braking and to avoid him I lost ground. That’s why I had to recover then”

Did you immediately understand that you could win?

“No. I saw that Nicolò was very fast and at first I thought that the podium could be a good result. But when I overtook some riders from the leading group, I understood that I could overtake him too, but until the end I didn’t know if I could win or not.”

Did you try to leave it alone at any point in Race 2?

“No, I always tried to keep my pace and keep the tires so that I had more in the end. I didn’t want to break away from the group, but just ride my own race, at my own pace and find the feeling with the bike. The problem was the rain which slowed me down and after that I didn’t have the same feeling with the bike and the tires. Moreover, by slowing down I facilitated Gardner’s return, but I am happy with his first podium finish in Superbike. When it started to rain I was in the lead and wasn’t sure what the limit was. It’s easier for those who follow, but when you’re in the front, it’s not easy at all. That was the turning point of the race.”

Where do you think Toprak has improved compared to last season?

“If you look at him from the outside, you have the impression that he was strong last year, especially under braking. This year, however, he always starts strong, but seems to have less confidence when the bike enters the corners. I don’t know if he needs to gain confidence or if BMW still won’t let him. He has certainly improved a lot compared to last season, especially in terms of acceleration and top speed.

Are we heading towards a duel between you and Toprak for the title?

There are many of us who can win races. Besides me and Toprak, there are also Bulega and others who can aim for victory, but I think in the end it will be a two-man fight.”