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“Right now, I don’t have trust or confidence…” - WorldSBK champ Alvaro Bautista

Gold & Goose

Defending WorldSBK Champion Alvaro Bautista has firmly played down his chances of picking up where he left off from last season ahead of the 2024 WorldSBK opener at Phillip Island.

The Spaniard has endured a troubled build-up to his bid to make it three WorldSBK titles in a row on the Aruba.it Racing Ducati after struggling with the lingering effects of a neck injury sustained in the days after his 2023 title win in Jerez.

However, the ex-MotoGP rider has also spoken out against new rules introduced designed to even up the minimum weight between the riders following complaints from  rivals that he had an advantage. 


Though the rule has been introduced across the grid, Bautista believes he is the only rider affected enough to be carrying more ballast than in 2023.

It means Bautista hasn’t troubled the leading positions at any stage during pre-season testing and has been lapping more than half-a-second slower than new team-mate Nicolo Bulega.

Though he says this week’s official pre-season test was his first without hindrance from his injury, he admits he is not well-prepared for the start of the 2024 WorldSBK season.

“I don’t have any expectations right now, because I didn’t have the best possible pre-season due to injury,” he told Servus TV. “I spent basically the whole pre-season recovering my neck and, in the tests, I couldn’t work a lot with my bike. 

“For the start of the season, I think I’m not one of the favourites to win because I have a lot of things to recover, like the feeling with the bike and I’m still a bit far from my best performance. 

“Let’s see if I can close the gap step by step with the best Bautista and fight for good positions. Right now, I don’t have the trust or confidence that we can be at the top in Round 1.”

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