Redding: Bautista cost himself 2019 WSBK crown

Scott Redding says that his Ducati predecessor Alvaro Bautista's failure to take the World Superbike title last year was primarily down to the Spanish rider himself.

Alvaro Bautista, Racing-Ducati Team

After making the switch from MotoGP last year, Bautista started life in WSBK by winning 11 races in a row, staying unbeaten in the first four rounds of the season.

But, during that time, Jonathan Rea only once failed to finish right behind him in second, and took over as the dominant force as Bautista started to fade afterwards.

In the end, Rea took his fifth consecutive title comfortably as Bautista had to settle for a distant second in the standings before signing with Honda for 2020.

British Superbike champion Redding, who replaces Bautista this year for his own rookie WSBK season, voiced his opinion regarding his predecessor's 2019 campaign during Ducati's season launch event last week at Imola.

"I think the problem was Bautista himself," said the ex-Aprilia and Pramac Ducati MotoGP rider. "He had a mindset to dominate and he dominated, 100 percent, amazing. That's how a rider of that calibre should win races in Superbike.

"He had an advantage with the weight and the speed but Jonny [Rea] was very patient, very smart, just keep applying pressure.

"When Alvaro crashed the first time, he then dominated again, he wanted to show, 'f***, I can still win'. Then he crashed again and thought, 'hmm, it is not ideal, I don't need to do that'. Then he crashed again because he was thinking about it.

"Then the gap was closing from Jonny, he crashed again and then Jonny started winning and he had more pressure. Then you put yourself in a position where you are trying to save the championship and when you're trying to save the championship, you are in trouble.

"Personal opinion, that is what I think but Alvaro has won world championships before so he is very smart, he is a great rider, I do like him a lot. But I think it was more him.

"Maybe with different tracks and temperatures it changed a lot the feeling and then he started to stress more to dominate, instead of winning races.

"He wanted to win by 15 seconds, not 1.5s. For me, a win is a win. [Whether it's by] 10 seconds or one second, you're winning."

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Davies, who was Bautista's teammate and is now Redding's, said that Bautista could not cope with the crashes that started to become a regular occurrence in the middle of the year.

"I think that Alvaro arrived with a supreme level of confidence, that was working for him when he is perfectly attuned with the bike and I still believe that this bike is very good for somebody like Alvaro," commented Davies, who finished sixth in the standings last year.

"But when more mistakes started to happen, the confidence drops down in every way and you lose the edge. He was still competitive but I think from the outside it seems that sometimes it was difficult for him to explain what he crashed.

"Things like Donington, collision with another rider at Laguna Seca can just happen and he was quite unlucky in that sense. But on the other side, that level of confidence at the beginning is hard to maintain for a full season, especially when things go wrong.

"You need to understand why you crashed. I think that was the problem, maybe he didn't understand why he crashed a few times, it was not clear to him. And then how do you get yourself out of the situation when you don't understand how?"

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Chaz Davies, Racing-Ducati Team, Alvaro Bautista, Racing-Ducati Team

Chaz Davies, Racing-Ducati Team, Alvaro Bautista, Racing-Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images


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