Alvaro Bautista had won 14 WorldSBK races before he arrived in Portugal but after his experiences at the recent Portimao test, he knew it may be a tough weekend due to his still-injured shoulder.
After a clash and near crash with his works Ducati team-mate on day one, he had a strong ride in the Superpole race and a winning race in the second feature-length encounter. It drained him of all he had, as it transpired, because he says the V4R is still as unstable as it was when he first rode it.
“It has been a good day. Maybe in the Superpole race I lost the chance to fight for the victory in the beginning because I was too inside in the corner and I just had to slow down because the other riders were outside and I lost some positions,” Bautista told bikesportnews.com.
“I made another comeback race in the Superpole race but then it was finished very soon. I did some wheelie at the start of race two so I did not start so well. But then I was in the leading group.
When I was behind the Kawasaki in Race Two I saw that my pace was a bit stronger so in that moment I felt good energy, no big pain and I tried to get some good advantage at the end so I can manage the tyres and my pain.
“I did it but I was lucky that it was the last lap because I was destroyed. I could not make more strength and also the tyres did not help me. The bike and me, we were destroyed. We won and I did all my best, all my 100 per cent. I am happy for that.”
Bautista’s bike was likened to a dragster by the media, in the way it howled past other bikes onto and then down the main straight, but looking more difficult in the curves - which the former MotoGP star confirmed.
“It is easy to see on TV what happened on the straights, because there it is only the bike. You have to open the gas and go full,” he said.
But what you cannot appreciate on TV is in the corners, where I have to fight with the bike to stop it, to make it turn, moving the traction.
“It is easier to say, ‘Bautista wins because the bike is a missile’. Yes, but you have 15 corners and one straight only. Our bike is basically the same as it was we did not have updates during the season.
“For stopping it is difficult, especially in turning and traction, stability it is like we are at the beginning. There are tracks where you feel it more, and this is one of them and tracks where you feel less.”