WorldSBK Indonesia: ‘The level is amazing, so high,’ says new champ Bautista| Gordon Ritchie at Mandalika | WorldSBK
Alvaro Bautista replayed only the good bits of the recording from his first year with Ducati in 2019 when it came this particular season, and got his first WorldSBK crown as a result.
He was asked how it feel to wear a champion’s suit of clothes, to which he said, “It’s difficult to make some words. I’m just so happy because after two difficult years, many people trust in me and I have the chance to come back to Ducati.
“Gigi, Paolo, Stefano, Serafino, all in Ducati trust in me. They gave me the chance to do it again. I felt really good during all the season. I’m so happy because I have a lot of experience from the past. I try to be as best rider as possible during all the season. Try to don’t make mistakes. I think our performance has been really, really high.”
Who he was up against was the main point of pride for him. “Also because sincerely, I think I had the best performance ever from Toprak and Jonathan,” said Bautista. “They performed really, really at a high level in all the races.
“I was lucky that I had less mistakes than them, so at the end, this championship doing the races like we did. I’m so happy because I feel that I improved like a rider. I can beat these two guys, with Jonathan six times world champion and Toprak one time world champion.
“Breaking all the records in all the tracks. That means that the level is amazing, so high, and we can win with this amazing level. So, now it’s time to celebrate.”
Like many riders leading a championship, or trailing it by an uncomfortable amount, the mantra Bautista kept repeating was about not thinking about the championship. “Now it’s time to think about the championship. Sincerely, I thought in the championship in the starting grid in Race Two.
In that moment, I start to feel the pressure, so nervous, because it was the first time that it was really in my hands. Because before, depends my result but in race two depends all of mine. So I know that if I didn’t make a mistake and I can arrive in the podium, it was enough. So, in that moment, I said, ‘Shit. Let me focus.’
“When I was behind the other riders, I can be concentrated, more or less. When I was leading the race in a couple of laps, I start to think. I did some strange lines. So I decided just let Toprak pass. I knew that also Jonathan was very close, but fourth position was a bit far, so I think it was enough if I can stay behind Toprak and just keep Jonathan. If I lost the position with Jonathan, it was enough. But Toprak was very strong. He pushed really hard.”
Ultimately everyone had tyre issues to deal with, in some way or other and near the end of race Two Baiutista reaslised it was not going tp be a winning day for the racer at least.
Compunded to that was the fact that Pirelli did not bring his favourite front tyre in the allocation at this round, “The tyre in the front didn’t give me enough confidence and I cannot push like other races. So, I felt limited this race and all the weekend for this.
“But in any case, we managed to get the maximum. I’m so happy. Thanks to Ducati. Thanks to my team. Julio, Fausto, Fabrizio, Giacomo, Rovi, Ali, Roberto, Marco, Federico, Manuel, my family, my daughter that watched her father be world champion. I just want to go home to kiss them, I am so happy.”