Alvaro Bautista left the Laguna Seca WorldSBK round without a single point on the board after a crash of his own making, a nerfing at the hands of Toprak Razgatlioglu in the sprint race and the resulting injury that put him out of race two.
Bautista has been down the road five times in the last four race weekends and, getting punted into the gravel aside, has no real explanation for why he having basically the same crash each time.
It was a punishing weekend for Bautista, who got so desperate to change his luck he cut his hair back to the shortest bristles overnight from Saturday to Sunday, in a jokey way to try to change his fortunes. No joy with that attempt as he ended up in the Clinica Mobile.
“I do not know if the ligament is stretched or broken and I have a lot of pain,” Bautista told bikesportnews.com, but he knew his shoulder was so painful could not finally ride in the final outing – not enough strength in his left side and quit a lot of pain.
Yes, the pain, but more than the pain. I did not have the strength on my left side, especially under braking. Also on the straight - it is curious but when you are normally riding on the straight you feel like normal. Now, even on the straight I felt I had no strength and the bike is like, wow, more power than MotoGP. I could not stay out there.”
Bautista feels that it was basically Toprak’s input that caused the accident, and Bautista said he came to the Clinica Mobile to apologise.
No points scores at all made Laguna a horrible weekend for Bautista, who is now 81 points behind Rea.
“Maybe in the beginning of the season we did not expect to win so many races but for sure we did not expect this situation,” said Bautista. “In the last races we have been crashing in almost all the rounds. But we crash every time in the same way, all races in a row, it is difficult to understand.”
Bautista was asked directly if his head had rolled off and he replied: “No, no, because our speed is there and in the race yesterday I did not push in the beginning like I did in Jerez or Misano. I saved the first laps and just made the race, but in any case I crashed.
Sincerely we do not now why we are crashing. I can say OK, maybe I tried to push more but no more than in the other 14 races that I won. I have no explanation. It is strange that in practice I push harder, push more, but I do not crash. The strange thing is that this is happening in the races. In practice it never happens, and I try even more. Sometimes I just have to smile about it.”
With the summer break to get things sorted now, Bautista said, “Sometimes you have to switch off and restart. Now the important thing is to recover physically and then restart. We will try to keep the work and keep the good feeling with the bike - and I have a good feeling with the bike.
“Of course we have to develop and improve I some areas, but the feeling is more or less like the beginning of the season. The only difference is that at the beginning of the season I was winning and now I crash.”
A lot can happen in the era of three races per weekend, and four weekends still to go, but Bautista is almost conceding the championship possibilities now.
“Mathematically it is not gone but for sure it is quite impossible,” said Bautista. “Realistically it is very, very, very difficult. So it is not in my hands any more.
“All I can do now is try to win the maximum races I can and work for next season to develop the bike. And improve in the areas we struggle a bit more. For next season, I have to check with my manager because I know that they spoke this week, so I hope to have something in the next two weeks. All the important things are done but it is some small details.”