While FP1 didn’t go too well for Honda rider Alvaro Bautista, the Spaniard soon made up for this in the second practice, finishing with the third best time behind Rea and Gerloff. Assen is definitely not a track Alvaro turns his nose up at.

Highs and lows on day one

“This morning my feeling with the bike was terrible - comments Bautista - It was very difficult for me to ride the turns properly. In the afternoon I improved though and the higher track temperature definitely helped in that respect. My feeling isn’t fantastic right now, but it’s definitely better with the front tyre. We also need to work well and improve in terms of the electronics. This morning, we tried various set-ups but they weren’t perfect so in the afternoon we made some changes and I think things have improved”.

Further improvements to be made

For Alvaro, there is still a lot of work do to on the Honda, but the Spaniard is not giving up: “Today we focused on the bike and improved compared to the races. But we need to do more, as sometimes I feel as if the bike is slipping out of my hands because the power is not totally under control. As well as improving the electronics, I think we can also improve the mechanics”.

Bautista: “I’m not thinking about the future right now”

He closes by talking about the future: I don’t want to think about the future right now, but just try to improve and be faster. I want to find the right feeling with the bike and be competitive like I was two years ago. I’m not thinking about the future”.

Some might like to see him back on a Ducati though: “That’s normal, it’s the kind of comment you hear in the paddock. At a time when some riders have contracts coming up for renewal, there’s always talk about who’ll go where and do what. It’s fun and all part of the game”.

Translated by Heather Watson

WorldSBK, Alstare and Ponsson split: no Assen for either of them