On the day that Alvaro Bautista and Ducati’s official squad did not lead the riders’ championship for the first time, after he suffered a fast highside in rainy conditions exiting Schwantz Curve, there was a more important consideration than moving behind Jonathan Rea and Kawasaki by nine points.
Bautista, his head clear and vocal delivery as eloquent as ever, said, “Today I was lucky to not be hurt because the crash was really, really hard.
“I hit very strong on the asphalt with my head. So I was lucky, this is racing, and some days it happens to you, some days to another rider, so at the end we just have to keep working, keep positive.”
Bautista had not been settled at Donington with his set-up, in wet or dry, but it was particularly hard in a wet race one, which he never saw the finish of.
“Today the conditions were very tricky,” he stated. “The track was very slippery and from this morning in wet conditions my feeling with the tyres was really bad. It was like I was riding on ice. No feeling, especially on the rear, no contact feeling so I struggled a lot. We made some changes for the race and it improved the little bit and not a lot.
Especially at the beginning I was almost crashing in all the corners, no feeling, no grip in the asphalt from the rear tyre. Lap by lap I started to feel a bit better, not fantastic, and for sure I was surprised because with my shit feeling on the bike my lap time was not so bad.
“Every time I passed down the main straight and I saw the lap time I thought it is impossible to go that fast with this shit feeling – and for that I probably crashed, as I was too fast for the feeling I had.”
After three crashes in raced had decimated his one-time 61 point lead over Rea, turning it into a nine-point deficit, Bautista said that they at least know why the two crashes happened in previous races.
The important thing is that we know the reason that I crashed. I think in Jerez and Misano it was a similar reason to crash. Also I can make mistakes or not, but I won 14 races making the same. But in these two weekends, it was technical issues, different technical issues, but maybe it helped to crash.
“Fortunately we discovered and it is fixed. I think today it is because of the conditions. After the Misano crash we discovered something very stupid. We sorted out the problem. I cannot say. Working with the bike, settings, was something different.
“I was confident in Misano, maybe too much, but maybe like the other races. It was also more hot and everything. But if you put it all together… the crash is there.”