Even by Alvaro Bautista’s high current standards, round three of the 2023 WorldSBK Championship at Assen couldn’t have been a more perfect weekend.
A trio of victories on the Aruba.it Ducati strengthened the Spaniard’s grip on the 2023 series, with only a grid penalty that dropped him from pole - only his third since the 2022 WorldSBK Championship - in race one blotting his copybook.
With eight wins out of nine races to his credit now, Bautista cut a delighted figure come the end of the weekend.
“Perfect weekend. I’m so happy because yesterday was really good, but today we made a change in the bike. Already in the morning in the warmup I felt much better, with more confidence in the bike. I can force more the bike.
“I am so happy because the feeling with the bike has been amazing. In the Superpole Race, I was pushing really hard. It was like I get the maximum of the bike I had. So, I’m happy. Also in race two, I can be very precise. I used all the bike and I used all in my side, so this is the maximum I can be. I’m happy because I really enjoy all corners, all laps.”
A bit of extra grip was all that was missing for Bautista on Saturday which was improved for Sunday, it seems.
“On Friday the grip especially in the rear was a bit low for everybody, but we tried to improve. Then we made the bike a little bit different to have more rear grip. Saturday in FP3 on the wet, it was difficult to understand.
`’Then superpole with the SCQ tyre, seems like it’s better with that tyre. Then in the race I didn’t feel so well on the bike. The bike moved a lot. The grip didn’t improve, so for today, we tried in the other direction. Definitely we made a step forward.
“So, at the end, just playing with the length of the bike. Nothing important, but you can feel when you are in the limit. Those small details, you feel a big change.”
Immediately focused on the next race, Bautista was more interested in planning for Catalunya than dwelling on being the rider to give Ducati is 400th win in WorldSBK.
“It’s nice for Ducati,” said Bautista. “But at the end, I like to look all the statistics when I’m at home after all my career. Now we are in the present, so this is just the way. So, we have to be focused on the present and try to keep the feeling I have with the bike because I think in all my career, I don't think that I had this feeling never with the bike.”
Bautista has extended his WorldSBK Championship lead to 56 points over second place man Toprak Razgatlioglu - CLICK HERE for the full standings