Celebrations in Most for Alvaro Bautista were two-fold on Saturday after the Aruba.it Ducati rider claimed a determined victory in race one.
Yes, Ducati riders have scored no less than 1000 WorldSBK podiums, a fact which was not lost on the race winner Bautista.
“I am really happy to be the name who has 1000 podiums, and especially with a victory,” the Spaniard said proudly. "But for sure, it’s a really important milestone for Ducati. Congrats to Ducati and all the riders who made a podium for this incredible manufacturer.”
Bautista kept his cool, kept his pace, and stuck in a 1’31 lap time to blow everyone’s minds with three laps to go, to ensure that BMW’s Scott Redding would come no closer to him. As a piece of riding and execution of your advantages over others, it was pretty perfect.
“I think has been one of the perfect races, especially this season,” said Alvaro in the media scrum after race one. “I think very clever. Just getting the maximum in all the conditions and don’t make mistakes.
“I’m very happy because maybe the fact that here I can’t use the soft compound to make the race… maybe we worked really well to use it.
“I knew that the first lap I lose a little bit because it’s like I need a couple of laps to warm up and to start to feel that the tyre is working. I knew that start on the first lap was very important. I tried to do a good start and to don’t lose a lot with Jonathan [Rea] and Toprak [Razgatlioglu] that they for sure want to push from the beginning because I think they knew the problem. But I didn’t lose a lot and I can stay with them.
“After a few laps, I can be with them - not easy - but better than the first laps. But, I just stayed calm and leave them to battle like they did. Just thinking and don’t stress too much the tyre, because it’s a new tyre for everybody. Nobody exactly knows what happens the last three or four laps. Then when it started to rain, I thought, ‘Shit. Now if it rains more, we have to stop.’ I was not really worried, because in the morning on the mixed conditions I was quite fast and I was quite comfortable so I don’t worry, but to be there and then to make a flag-to-flag is worse.
“I saw Toprak and Jonathan with normal problem but maybe less confidence. They reduced a lot, they slowed down the pace. I saw them with more indecision to do the corner and to open gas. So, at the end, I said, ‘get the lead and then at least you have your own feeling. You don’t depend the feeling that the other riders have’. So at the end, I did it and just tried to manage, to understand the track, the rain. It was more the rain I saw in my visor and in the screen than the rain was on the track. But you have to be very careful. But, I felt quite comfortable. I didn’t feel like risking or something. Just slow down a little bit, but maybe less than both. Then when it stopped, I said, ‘try to push more’, but always without mistakes. That is the first key for this season. And let’s see what happens.
“Before start rain, I felt that maybe I have a couple of tenths faster than them. So maybe, I don't know if they come for you or not. So, just try to push and see what happens. So, they kind of stayed with me but then after a few laps, especially the last four or three laps, I can increase a little bit the gap. I think they are battling on the back, so they helped me. Was good for me as well. Then managed to finish the race first. I think a very clever race, and also very focused. I think for that, because I don’t have the tyre I feel good so I have to concentrate to don’t make mistakes and to use the tyre the best possible without mistakes.”
Bautista thought the early fight going on in front of him between Rea and Razgatlioglu was simply two racers going at it as hard as they could.
“Too early for points calculations,” he said. “I think Jonathan and Toprak, and also me, we are not thinking about the championship. It’s too long. Many races, many points. Stupid things to think about the championship now. They just try to win each other. So, they battle the first lap or the last corner. They try always. For me it’s good because they are trying always, so they lose especially in the first lap. They help me to be with them, because otherwise if they get the pace at the beginning, for me for sure, I have to maybe push more or lose more, and then I have to recover. But for me it’s perfect that they battled from the first lap until the end.”