The pilot from Talavera de la Reina has not achieved this season the brilliant results of last year in his debut in Superbike with Ducati. This has been a strange season for all of us, in which Alvaro Bautista, together with his partner Leon haslam, have premiered the new Honda Fireblade with a podium at Motorland (3rd) as the best result.
Logically, a single podium and end up closing the “top ten” of the general with Bautista 9th and Haslam 10th tied on points, is not what was expected of the return of Honda HRC to the World Superbike. Especially if we remember that last year he won 16 races.
As true as that the limitations in the tests and a calendar with a total of 24 races (36 last year), have not benefited a team and a completely new motorcycle that without a doubt should aspire to much more in the next season.
How have you handled this special time that we are living?
“Well, at the level of my family life, I have been able to enjoy my wife and my daughter, but it is strange not being able to see friends and others. Not being in contact with friends, people and the public on the circuits is something that logically I have noticed to be lacking”.
“A difficult season from what we all know and also for us it has been the first year with the Fireblade. We need more time”.
What motorcycle have you come across?
“At first I came across a motorcycle very different from what I knew. My experience on 4T motorcycles was until then only with V-2, not with a four in line. At first the truth is that it was very difficult for me. When I got on for the first time I had the feeling of not being able to define which direction to take, but based on work and with a little more time we have come a long way”.
You and your partner Leon Haslam have finished with the same number of points (113p.)
“It’s a coincidence, but the truth is that we both lost a lot of points for going to the limit and exceeding it. I don’t think the final classification reflects our true level, far from it. The important thing is that we now know which direction to take for 2121”.
What level is the Fireblade at?
“We are at 70% and I have a good feeling with the Fireblade. In recent races I have the feeling that we have improved and we want to continue in this direction next year to achieve the results that we believe are within our reach.”.
What do you expect sportingly speaking of 2021?
“We come to 2021 with more experience and with new ideas to improve. We have new references in different conditions, situations and circuits and a lot of information to improve the bike. I have a good feeling with the Fireblade. In the last races we have improved and we want to continue in this direction next year to achieve the results that we believe are within our reach. Of course, our goal is to be on the podium and win”.
The rest of the manufacturers are leveling up and new versions are arriving for some protagonists …
“This it means that the championship is growing and that factories have an interest, that’s good for everyone. We are very clear about where we have to improve. Raise the level and for us the World Cup is a challenge”.
Can it benefit you that the World Cup, instead of starting in February, does it in April as scheduled?
“On the one hand the truth is that we have many things to prove and buying time will be good for us, but for the other that means more time without competing and I really want …“
Do you think a satellite team would help you evolve?
“At this point in the evolution of the Fireblade, I think it is better to work only in the official team and that we concentrate the development in our team and testing new components. But in the future we will see”.
How were the last tests of the season at the Jerez circuit?
“It was an important test as we tested many changes which cannot usually be done in racing season. We had two very positive days to be able to provide information to Japan and now we have clearer ideas. Engineers have jobs! I think we took an important step. We are not happy for not winning, but we are on the way with clear ideas for the future”.
You are focused on Superbike but… would you like, like other riders in the category, to take part in an Endurance World Championship race like the Suzuka 8 Hours?
“Well I do not know. This year they were canceled, we will see in 2121. I have never taken part in this race and For me it would be a challenge, why not? If the situation arises …“
Back to MotoGP?
“I am an HRC rider and now I am on a Superbike. If you ask me, it would be my pleasure“
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