WSB

Bautista makes Imola, wet weather debut

Alvaro Bautista believes “the most important thing” from his debut day at Imola has been getting to grips with his first experience of wet weather riding on the Ducati V4 R.

Alvaro Bautista believes “the most important thing” from his debut day at Imola has been getting to grips with his first experience of wet weather riding the Aruba.it Racing Ducati V4 R.

The Spanish rider has completed a private one-day test alongside team-mate Chaz Davies at the circuit which hosts the next round of the World Superbike championship, on May 10-12, to give the ex-MotoGP star his first feeling for the iconic Italian track along with valuable data for the factory Ducati team at a new track with its new Superbike.

After a damp start to the test, dry conditions prevailed before a brief rain shower late in the day provided the runaway World Superbike championship leader with his maiden experience of riding the Panigale V4 R in wet conditions. The 34-year-old says he was thankful for the chance to ride in the wet rather than having to learn about the bike in wet conditions during a race weekend.

“Today was a really positive day because I had a chance to test at Imola, a track I’ve never been to before. Now I’ve got some markers for the race weekend, which is the most important thing,” Bautista said.

“Also I have to say that we were lucky to have the rain towards the end of the test because this allowed me to lap in the wet for the first time with this bike and these tyres.

“I’m very pleased because I started becoming confident with the bike also in these conditions, which are the only ones we haven’t encountered this year.

“I want to thank the Autodromo di Imola and all the fans who came here despite the bad weather, let’s hope we can also arrive at a competitive level during the race weekend.”

Bautista leads the World Superbike championship by 53 points from defending champion Jonathan Rea after the opening four rounds.

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