Bautista explains Friday issues after limited FP2 running

Friday, 28 August 2020 17:00 GMT

Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista showed good pace in the opening practice session but left the pit lane just twice in FP2 and did not set a lap time

The day started positively for Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) as MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship headed to MotorLand Aragon for the Prosecco DOC Aragon Round; the Spanish rider going fourth fastest in Free Practice 1 before not setting a lap time in the second practice session with Bautista leaving the pits for some shakedown laps only.

In Free Practice 1, Bautista had a crash at Turn 1 and was able to remount his bike and take it back to the pitlane; returning to the track not long after. With just a few minutes to go, Bautista had a technical issue as he headed down into Turn 1 with fluid appearing to come out of the side of his Honda machine.

Bautista said: “Today in the morning, I felt good on the bike. Fortunately, we did a test here a few weeks ago so we had a lot of data. In the morning, I started strongly as I felt good on the bike. We worked on a little bit on traction control to see if we can make the bike more constant for race distance. In this track, race distance is more important than one lap.

“In the morning, I had a small crash without physical consequences for me. Then we had an engine problem and I had to stop before the end of practice. For the afternoon, we had to change the engine but when I started for the second practice we saw some oil from the bik.e We didn’t know whether the oil was coming from the new engine or because there was a lot of oil from the morning, so maybe some oil remains on the bike. For everybody’s safety, we decided to stay in the box because we didn’t know if it was from the new engine or because it remained on the bike.”

Bautista will be hopeful the issues are resolved ahead of tomorrow’s crucial Tissot Superpole session and Race 1, especially given the impressive pace the Spaniard had shown prior to the engine issue at MotorLand Aragon. Having won three times at Aragon in 2019, then riding a Ducati, Bautista knows he can be competitive at MotorLand Aragon if the issues are resolved.

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