After Jonathan Rea scored a new record WorldSBK Superpole lap and Bautista just missed out on the top spot pre-race, there were hopes for the neutrals that Jerez could be another venue that Rea would be fully competitive at, just like Imola last time out.
Bautista also had some doubts, shortly before he cleared off yet again in race one, overcoming early weekend excessive spin from the rear for yet another comfortable victory. And the status of the first Spanish rider to win in WorldSBK at Jerez.
“In this track I remember from MotoGP, but I did not know if it would be the same in WorldSBK. But there is a big difference between practice and the race, and with a lot of heat and temperature on the track,” he told bikesportnews.com.
“t is very different to have a pace that during practice than in the race. Normally we are on our pace… similar from practice to the race. I expected that if nothing strange happened, my pace would be, at the beginning 1’39 low or 1’39 medium.
“So I tried to take the lead as soon as I could and try to do my own pace. The gap increased every lap and I just had to manage my energy and the tyres. And I came back to a victory.”
New to Pirellis this year, Bautista has shown he likes the new one in Jerez just fine, and explained why.
I used the new tyre from Pirelli in the rear. I did not see a different level of performance but the consistency was better so that is why I chose that tyre. There is so much grip that the rear pushed the front here so in mid corer the bike wants to go out.”
Winning in Spain was reason for celebration, but Bautista’s pointing to the heavens as he crossed the line in race one added some personal poignancy.
“A win is a win but it is always very special to win in Spain and here it is the first time a Spanish rider won a race in Jerez, so it was special in front of my family,” he stated. “For me it is more special not because we are in Jerez but because my grandfather passed away some days ago, and I wanted to dedicate this to him because he gave me a lot of energy for this victory.”
The only thing Bautista missed was a fight for the win, with Rea at least for a time, but he checked out early in any case.
“I expected a strong battle with Johnny, me too, but this track is very different from practice to the race. I was able to have more or less the same pace but the other riders could not. I was lucky for that.”