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WorldSBK Phillip Island: Bautista ‘blessed to win, like riding on ice’

Aruba.it Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista is hoping for dry racing on Sunday despite securing victory in the wet WorldSBK season opener at Phillip Island.

Having taken command of Saturday’s 22 lap feature with a confident move through Stoner Corner on lap ten, Bautista didn’t look back. Crossing the line three and a half seconds clear of closest challenger and early leader Jonathan Rea.

While his win on paper reads as another dominant victory for the Ducati rider and reigning Superbike champion, the Spaniard was less convinced from Parc Ferme.


“I’m really blessed to win races like this one,” Bautista reflected from Australia. “Last year we raced here but we didn’t race too much in wet conditions, so it was new for everybody. I just tried to understand how was the track and tried to get the maximum.

“In the warm up lap, I saw that behind all the riders I had a lot of water spray, and I can’t see nothing, so the idea was to make a good start, try to get the lead to not have these problems.

“I did it and then Jonathan went a bit faster in the first lap so I just tried to stay calm, try to understand how much I could push and where the limit was. After a few laps, I start to feel my pace was similar to Jonathan but behind him in some places of the track I can’t see nothing for the spray, so I just tried to pass him and stay in front. After mid-race, the track started to be more slippery and it was very difficult, especially on the rear.

“In many corners it seemed like I was riding on ice, so zero grip. I was struggling, a lot of chances to crash because I lose the rear many times but I just tried to stay focused.

“In the end, I could get some gap with Jonathan and I can win so I’m really happy. Today wasn’t easy but I just keep calm and do my best. The good thing was it started to rain before the race, so nobody has any reference, there was no favourite rider. It was the same for everybody. I just tried to focus and get the maximum. 

“There is no pressure for tomorrow but if I have to be honest, I hope to race in dry conditions.”

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