Alvaro Bautista’s Column, Silverstone: It tasted like victory
Alvaro Bautista’s latest column for AS was again published on Tuesday after the Grand Prix, this time the British GP in Silverstone where Alvaro took a magnificent fifth place in treacherous conditions. This is the complete translation of the article.
With water. What a good sleep you have when things go well… Hello again my friends! Here I am again with you, two days after the British Grand Prix, to tell you from my point of view how the weekend went. So here we go! For starters, thanks to the English fans because I felt very loved there, I signed lots of autographs and so many photos were taken. And despite the weather we had there were many people in the grandstands. And the weather was the key to the weekend, very cold all three days and some rain on Friday, not counting Sunday where we’d have done better racing with jetskis. During practice I really felt very comfortable, I expected to have a tough weekend because we always had grip problems with the bike in the cold and last year at this track it was horrible. But on Friday I started very well, the bike worked, wasn’t troubled too much with the low temperatures and I could get my pace from the first free practice which was dry. On Friday afternoon we could ride in the wet which was what we expected for the race, so the feeling and setting were important. I felt comfortable and always had good laptimes, so I was calm in case the race was wet. On Saturday I improved the feeling in the dry a lot and I could improve my laptime, in the morning I was eighth and ninth in the afternoon, but very close to sixth.
Tastes like a win. Everything we worked on and improved in the dry wasn’t worth anything on race day, from the first minute on the rain did not stop. I was calm, I knew I could do well in the wet because I had a good feeling, in fact in the warmup I finished sixth. But still, no matter how well you are riding in wet conditions, it is a lottery and moreso because of the circuit – apart from being wet, there were puddles where the bike was aquaplaning, especially one where we were close to 300 km/h. You notice how the wheels lose contact with the tarmac, but going on, ready to risk a little. I went in with the mindset of getting my rhythm and finish, in the first laps I couldn’t push a lot because I didn’t see anything with the spray coming up from the riders in front, but when the gaps stretched I could ride my own pace. I was fighting with Hayden, but he started pushing and I found it risky to continue. I had some distance to Rossi and wanted to finish safely, but mid-race Valentino began to come closer and I had to go faster so he couldn’t catch me. I finished without crashing, which was no easy task, and I took fifth, equaling my best result in MotoGP … Fifth and it almost tasted like victory, because after the bad start of the championship, with the injury and gradually regaining confidence with the bike, I finally ended a weekend well, I’ve gone better in each session and I think it gives me a lot of strength for the next races.
Stoner and Honda. How strong are the Hondas! And how strong is Stoner! In the qualifying I was ninth, but 2.5 seconds behind him, that’s a whole world. I think Casey is very strong and it’s difficult to beat him in both dry and wet conditions, he did a stellar job. And also the second, Dovi, with another Honda. Although Yamaha seemed like at this circuit they could fight back and Lorenzo knew that, so perhaps he risked more because of that and it went wrong. He will need to make up ground in the coming races. And what can you say about Edwards, a week after surgery on the collarbone he gets a podium. This guy is crazy, haha. In the other categories the Spaniards also didn’t have much success, although it is true that for some riders it’s been their best result. In Moto2, where we miss Julito, Bradl is looking super convincing to become the champion and he is on the way, winning in the dry, in the wet … In 125cc my friend Faubel finally got a podium this year which he was looking for and which eluded him, congratulations! Terol was eighth, but he did what he had to do, he did not need to risk anything in those conditions, thinking about becoming champion not about winning one race, bravo! And after two consecutive weekends of racing, the last one great for me, now I’ll rest for a week with friends and family and stay in shape for the next two consecutive ones, Holland and Italy. You can bear this week without racing, right? A big kiss, see you!