Bautista’s “target same as always” despite Ducati rev drop

Alvaro Bautista won’t change his aims at Assen while gearing up for a maximum rev limit hit from World Superbike organisers.
Bautista’s “target same as always” despite Ducati rev drop

Alvaro Bautista says his aims won’t change heading into the Assen round as he hopes to maintain his 100% winning start to the World Superbike championship, while gearing up for a maximum rev limit hit enforced by organisers.

Following WorldSBK technical rules introduced last year, organisers have the option to increase or decrease maximum rev limits of any manufacturer depending on race results after the opening three rounds as a way of balancing performance between each brand.

With Bautista storming to nine consecutive wins at the start of 2019, matching Neil Hodgson’s 2003 record, Ducati has been slapped with a 250RPM drop from the Assen round. As part of the balancing process Honda has been given a 500RPM boost, while both Ducati and Kawasaki have lost its concession upgrade option for the campaign.

In a Ducati release before the rev drop was officially announced on Wednesday, Bautista says he objective at Assen won’t change despite expecting a tougher challenge compared to the domination he was able to produce at Aragon last weekend.

“The target is the same as always: work hard to get the best set-up in preparation for the races on Saturday and Sunday. The only unknown factor will be the weather conditions, but for sure we are extra-motivated for Assen,” Bautista said.

“Fortunately, we don’t have a lot of time to rest between these races, and I prefer to get back on the bike again very soon after a weekend of wins like at Aragon.”



Bautista is also bracing for a “new track” for the new Ducati V4 R given the shorter straights and twisty circuit characteristics at Assen but hopes to lean on his previous experience at the iconic Dutch track to get up to speed.

“It will be a new track for us with this bike – like all the other circuits this season – but Assen is very different from the other tracks,” he said. “Even though we don’t have much data, I know the place well because I’ve raced there in the past in other categories.”

Bautista’s Racing Ducati team-mate Chaz Davies has echoed his sentiments and is eager to match the level of the Spaniard after gaining momentum in Aragon with his first two podiums of the year.

“Assen is a different type of circuit from the others and requires a different riding style,” Davies said. “But I’ve got more confidence now with the Panigale V4 R and me and the team have made a lot of progress with the set-up.

“It’ll be nice to try and get between Alvaro and the other guys, fight for the podium and demonstrate that the V4 R is strong with me on it as well.”