Bautista has been in fine form since returning to Ducati earlier this year, winning half the races so far in 2022 to extend a 36-point lead over Kawasaki star Jonathan Rea and a 79-point advantage over the defending champion Toprak Razgatlioglu.
While his rivals were beset by fluctuating form, technical issues and even an accident between them, Bautista had a clean run in the first third of the season, finishing all 12 races in the first four rounds on the podium.
But the Spaniard says he would be wrong to get carried away with his form, suggesting the next championship round at Donington Park in July could prove “very difficult” for Ducati and give rivals Kawasaki and Yamaha a chance to catch up. him in the standings.
“We have to be ready when it’s our turn to suffer,” Bautista said. “For the moment everything is well.
“But for sure we will come to a time when we will suffer and we have to be prepared for that, and to stay on the ground try to stay calm and be strong in the moment because when everything is going well, it’s is easy.
“The thing is [when times are] hard to see if he’s a good rider or not. For example, Toprak struggled to win but he just kept, kept, kept [trying] and on Sunday he won [in the superpole race]. I think that’s the difference between a good driver and a champion driver.
“So let’s see when it’s our turn [to struggle] because I’m sure we will arrive sooner or later and we have to prepare for it and not panic.
“I think the next time in Donington, three years ago [that] was difficult for us. Now I don’t know because luckily the bike has changed a bit. But I think the next race will be very difficult for us.”
Alvaro Bautista, Aruba.it Racing Ducati
Photo by: Gold and Goose/Motorsport Images
Bautista overcame an early challenge from six-time WSBK champion Rea to win the weekend’s opening race and repeated that result in the Misano finale after facing a stern challenge from Yamaha’s Razgatlioglu in the opening laps.
Bautista says he always prefers to lead from the front and not have his riding style compromised by others, but feels he is now much stronger in duels compared to his previous stint with Ducati in 2019.
“If I have a bit more pace, I prefer to stay in front because then I can ride myself with the benchmark,” he explained.
“My strong point is acceleration but I can’t brake the same way because if I have another driver I can’t do the same speed in the corners.
“Going behind a rider, I can’t do my riding style so I can’t use the bike’s potential. When I’m in front, I can.”
“But in any case I showed that I could fight as well as this Sunday morning in Superpole with Jonathan or with Toprak this afternoon.
“I feel stronger than three years ago for the same point, it was more difficult to fight with other riders [in 2019].”