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“It’s not fair, only I’m adding weight” Angry Bautista speaks out on WorldSBK weight changes

Gold & Goose
Alvaro Bautista, Aruba.it Racing, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 2024 WorldSBK, Jerez, Testing, portrait [Gold & Goose]

Alvaro Bautista has spoken out about the WorldSBK Championship’s new rules regarding minimum weight on a bike, the double champion stating the rules are ‘not fair’ because he is the only rider on the grid who needs to add weight.

The Spaniard - who has previously stated weighs around 56kg (8.8 stone) without his race suit - has come under the microscope for a perceived advantage over his rivals due to his lighter weight.

Indeed, Bautista was regularly seen accelerating past his rivals on the straight and narrow en route to his dominant second title win in 2023, leaving rivals literally powerless to prevent him from overtaking.


It prompted a fevered debate over whether lighter rivals have an unfair advantage but while Bautista stood his ground, with other Ducati riders not enjoying quite the same devastating pace, for 2024 he will be subject to a new ruling that sees lighter riders have to increase their minimum weight to make it more comparable to taller, heavier riders like Toprak Razgatlioglu and Scott Redding.

Though the rule doesn’t ensure complete parity in terms of weight, Bautista told Crash.net he is the only rider being affected by the ruling.

“It’s not fair to add more weight,” he said. “In the end, the rule is not made for me, it’s for the championship but I’m the only rider who has to put weight on the bike.

“I’m the only rider that is penalised by this rule. And for me it’s not fair that, if me and Ducati work hard and well and we arrive at a good performance, that’s it’s fair to penalise good work.

“I understand that they want to make a very competitive championship, but I think it’s better to help the other manufacturers or the other riders like they did in MotoGP with some concession - but to improve their level, not to penalise our performance.

“For me, I understand that they want a more competitive championship and I agree, but don’t penalise my performance.

“If my performance is high, why do you take my performance down to equal out the championship? No! You have to help the others to arrive at my performance.

“I’m angry because it’s not fair that they penalise you when you do good work. In life, when you do things well people have to applaud you.

“Here, you do good work and you have to go down and be worse. I don’t understand but it is the mentality of this championship. It is a bit strange.”


Is Alvaro Bautista in trouble ahead of 2024 WorldSBK season?

The comments will serve to perpetuate suspicions as to why Bautista was noticeably off the pace during the two off-season tests at Jerez and Portimao, where he lapped outside the top ten best times.

Though at the time he spoke of lingering effects from a neck injury sustained in the days after he wrapped up his second WorldSBK title, these words suggest he is having a hard time setting up his Aruba.it Ducati Panigale V4 R to handle as sweetly as it did during the last two seasons.

“Superbikes are the heaviest bikes in racing. They are about 11/12 kilos heavier than a MotoGP. Already the bike is too heavy. I’m small and light so for me it is not easy to ride this kind of bike.


“For me, it is easier to ride a MotoGP because I have more control. Already, this bike is more difficult and when you add six or seven kilos more because you have a set-up on the bike the last two years like we did, but now with more kilos it is more difficult to ride.

“We have to find small set-up adjustments when we arrive at the track. The set-up we had last year was perfect but now we have to make some adjustments so that in certain tracks we can be faster or we don’t find the correct set-up.

“It is always more difficult to ride a bike that’s heavier. It will be more difficult for me and more dangerous.

“In a crash, the bike will need more space to stop, and more run-off area. In many tracks we are already in the limit with the run-off area, and now with a heavier bike we need more space.

“I think the rule is not fair. Already I struggle a lot with these kinds of bikes but everybody accepts it except me.”

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