Alvaro Bautista concluded his exclusive MotoGP test with Ducati in Misano after making even more progress on day two.
A very promising day one on the brand-new factory Ducati MotoGP bike got even better on Wednesday as Bautista recorded a personal best time of 1:32.590 seconds.
The much-anticipated Alvaro Bautista MotoGP test took place this week at the Misano track. Bautista participated in the 125cc, 250cc, and MotoGP World Championships before making a run at the Superbike World Championship. He won the 250cc World Championship in 2006, and he continued to race in the premier division through the end of the 2018 season.
After all this time, Bautista has finally gotten aboard the DesmosediciGP, despite the fact that the #19 has not since ridden a MotoGP bike.
The WSBK champion attempted to restore sensitivity with the tires and the Italian bike on the first day in Misano, which is the same track where he raced in 2017 and 2018. He eventually completed 50 laps. On the second day’s morning, Bautista focused on setup and experimenting with various tyre options.
Although it is impossible to compare Bautista’s lap time to the fastest MotoGP timings from last year owing to the varying track conditions and the time of year, it would have been quite competitive in FP4 on the previous season.
Given that Bautista’s time was precisely seven tenths slower than Jack Miller’s pole time, he would have placed inside the top 10. Using soft tyres to attain the lap time, Bautista posted his best time on lap seven of his fourth stint.
“I’m so happy because from yesterday to today, I improved my feeling on the bike a lot,” said Bautista. “We started with a good feeling on the bike but on the second day, I felt much more comfortable and much more like I’m used to riding this bike.
“I enjoyed it a lot and it was so nice to work with all the guys here… Step by step, we made small changes on the bike to make it more for me and my riding style, and to be more comfortable.
“I’m really happy with this test.”
After being away from prototype motorcycles since 2018, Bautista utilized day one to become acclimated to the bike. Day two featured more extensive set-up adjustments and the successful testing of a new fuel tank in order to improve his riding position.
“The programme was that on the first day, we’d just get a first impression on the bike and the second day, we made some modifications especially with the ergonomics,” he added.
“I asked to have a higher and narrower seat, but it was not possible. I asked for a narrower fuel tank… They had it in the factory, so they brought it for the second day and it definitely helped me be more comfortable on the bike.
“We started to touch the setup of the bike a little bit, to adapt it to my style, and to go together in the same direction.
“All the small changes we made felt better and better and gave me more confidence on the bike. Today, we tried different tyres. We compared the soft and hard on the front.
“The feeling was quite good, better than I expected. On the rear, we saw the difference between the soft and medium tyre.”
According to the official Ducati press release, Bautista didn’t try to attack and ended the second day of testing with a fastest time of 1:32.590s after doing 49 more laps.
With soft tires, a 49 oC track temperature, and lap seven of the fourth session, that time had been achieved. For comparison, Jack Miller (running the Desmosedici) claimed the pole position last year based on a quick lap of 1:31.899, but on asphalt that was just 28oC.
Additionally, Bautista has been riding his Ducati Panigale V4R to log some miles ahead of Donington Park race, which is scheduled for June 30 to July 2.