WorldSBK Most: Bautista proves Pirelli’s SCX is no big advantage| Gordon Ritchie at Most | WorldSBK
One race win and two other podiums saw WorldSBK championship leader Alvaro Bautista move 31 points ahead of Jonathan Rea, but lose some ground to double race winner Toprak Razgatlioglu, who is now a reduced 38 points back from the lead.
At the beginning of the weekend the lack of an SCX tyre for the long races was a big deal. They said it would disadvantage the smaller, lighter riders who could use it in even the longer races.
But for Bautista, the reality was that whatever tyre he had, he was still competitive. “Nobody knows what happened to the tyre,” said Bautista. “This was the tyre. This was the races, that’s all. We don’t have to think about if the other tyre… The other tyre is there. Here it is this. At the end we can make the tyre work. We were also competitive with this tyre.”
As the points and three stunning WorldSBK races at Most suggest, it is a Bautista, Rea and Razgatlioglu fight, and it has been up close and personal more than once.
Now Bautista has had a chance to compare the riding styles and characteristics of his two main rivals, what does he see?
“The difference between both is that maybe battling with Toprak, if he can go faster than you, he tries to overtake you. At least with me. I don’t speak about Jonathan, because they try every corner to pass each other.
But for me, when he tries to pass me, it’s because he has something that maybe he can go faster. Also he tries to pass you without mistakes. Jonathan is more like, I want to pass you to stay in front of you.
“Maybe I don’t have more, but at least you aren’t in front of me. So, sometimes it’s more for disturbing or concentrating more than he has extra more to go fast. But, both are very difficult to beat.”
Bautista, do you remember, still has a painful hand after his Donington crash. It is not broken, but the ligaments and tendons have been stretched, and he has been able to give it no rest since Donington. And that is what it needs, rest.
“There’s nothing broken, fortunately, but it’s just a little bit of pain,” said Bautista with an ice pack on his swollen right hand. “To recover? Is just to rest. After Donington - I did two races in Donington – I had to do a lot of signatures and the raced of champions at Misano in World Ducati Week.
‘Then here in practice and the races. So I can’t rest the hand, which is the problem. Now, fortunately we have a lot of days to stop and I try to recover as best as possible to be fit for the next race.”
Like a few of the top teams, Bautista will be testing over the summer break.
“Yes, we have a test in Montmelo, on the 21st. It will be an important test to prepare a bit the race there, but also like we did in Misano, we have some ideas that during the weekend we cannot try, so maybe we try there.
“If there is something for the second half of the season, or not and we have the best package we have. A bit of geometry, working with the geometry and everything there. It’s nothing new. Just working with what we have.”