Bautista: Crash caused by riding too fast with "s*** feeling"
Ducati World Superbike rider Alvaro Bautista says his opening-race crash at Donington Park was down to him going “too fast” for the “s*** feeling” he had in wet conditions.
Bautista was running in a lonely fifth when he highside-crashed at the Turn 6 left-hander of Starkey's Bridge on lap 11 of Saturday's opening feature race for the UK round, while main title rival Jonathan Rea eased to victory.
Tallying up his third feature race crash in as many rounds, Bautista has now lost the lead in the standings for the first time in his rookie campaign, and is eight points adrift of Rea.
“The conditions were very tricky, the track was very slippery and from this morning with the wet conditions my feeling with the tyres was really bad,” he said.
“It was like I was riding on ice. So no feeling, especially on the rear. No grip, no contact feeling and I struggled a lot.
“We made some changes for the race, it improved a little bit but not a lot. Especially at the beginning I was almost crashing, no feeling, the rear tyre not biting the asphalt.
“Lap by lap I start to feel a bit better, but not fantastic and for sure I was surprised because with my s*** feeling on the bike, my laptime was not too bad.
“Every time I passed the main straight and I saw the laptime, I thought it's impossible to go as fast with this shit feeling. For that reason I crash, because I was too fast for the feeling I had.”
Bautista originally blamed his tumbles at Misano and Jerez on over-confidence with his machine, but revealed on Saturday at Donington that they were in fact aided by a technical issue.
“Well, the important thing is that we know the reason [why] I crashed,” he added on his Donington tumble.
“I think at Jerez and Misano, the reason I crashed was similar. Okay I can [make a] mistake or not, but I won 14 races doing the same [as when I crashed].
“But in these two weekends was a technical issue, different technical issues that maybe helped [make me] crash.
“Fortunately, we discover [the problem] and everything is fixed. Today I think because of the condition, I crash for that.
“This is racing, and it can happen. It's what I say. We have to keep strong and keep pushing.”
Donington WSBK: Rea grabs points lead as Bautista crashes
Donington WSBK: Rea wins red-flagged Superpole race