Alvaro Bautista’s points lead in the championship is no more, after the rookie crashed once more, this time, at Donington Park!
If Alvaro Bautista didn’t think that things wouldn’t get any worse than they were after Race 2 at Misano, then he was wrong, as another crash – this time at Donington Park in Race 1 – means he loses the championship lead for the first time in his rookie season. Now, the 34-year-old is in a position he hasn’t been in all season, with him being the hunter instead of being the hunted.
The race started well for Bautista, who got a clean start and stayed out of any first lap shenanigans from riders who had little to lose. The Spaniard didn’t have a match for the top four in the race, and at one point, was being closed down by Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team). Needing to respond, the 14-time WorldSBK race winner upped his pace before suffering a huge crash a Turn 6, when his rear tyre lost adhesion and chucked him off in a highside fashion.
A disconsolate Bautista reflected on what has been a disastrous Donington Park so far, saying: “Today, the track conditions were very tricky. It was very, very slippery; my feeling on the bike was like riding over ice. It was very difficult. Every corner I was fighting with the bike because I had no feeling. Lap by lap, I start to feel a bit better but not fantastic, although I was surprised with my pace as I was lapping in the low 1’40s. Unfortunately, midway through the race, I lose the rear and I can’t save the crash.”
Having had his lead whittled away from 61 points in his favour to sporting a nine-point deficit in just five races, Bautista must come out fighting in the remaining five races before the lengthy Summer break, to take as much momentum to circuits he has never raced one before. Can he do it?
Looking ahead to tomorrow and the rest of the season, Bautista continued: “I know that races are races and that it is not all about the mathematics; these things can happen. It is good sometimes, as it can happen to you or happen to other riders. In the end, I am happy because we are doing so well and now, in the last races, we lose lots of points, but it was our mistake and we pay for it.”
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