Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista gives his thoughts on the hot conditions in Jerez and how it’ll impact on the bike…
MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s return has been greeted with scorching temperatures at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, but this can have an impact on the bikes as Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) explains; as well as tyre life, it can have an impact on the grip available to the riders as well as engine performance.
Bautista finished the day fourth in the combined classification between Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2; just a tenth off the fastest lap of the day. He was the highest placed Honda rider with Leon Haslam, his HRC teammate, in ninth place and three tenths further back. It was a good start to the Pirelli Spanish Round for the rider from Spain but he acknowledges that Friday was not an easy day.
Bautista said: “The conditions today were very tricky with the very slippery track and with the heat, physically it’s not easy to manage this. I am happy because today we tested many things, especially on the tyre side, to see the difference between all the kind of tyres that we have here for races – especially in these conditions, the life of the tyre and the consumption will be very important. We managed to test all of them and make some small adjustments on the bike. For sure, my feelings are really good, I enjoy riding the bike again so I’m quite happy.
“We have to adjust the bike a little bit. We are also playing with the gearbox because with this heat, the engine does not have the same power as when it’s cold, so we have to play with that a little bit. And also, a small adjustment on the bike to have a better turn in in some corners. But in the end, it’s small details.”
The adjustments made to the bike over the course of Friday and Saturday may prove crucial with potential higher temperatures across the weekend, and with Team HRC looking like they have the pace to challenge in Jerez it the adjustments Bautista and his team make may play an important role as racing resumes in WorldSBK.
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