Bautista liked "nothing" about Honda during early tests

Jamie Klein
·2 min read

Ex-MotoGP racer Bautista was lured by Honda to spearhead its first true works campaign in WSBK since 2002 after a rookie season at Ducati that yielded second in the points behind Jonathan Rea and 16 race victories.

The Spaniard endured an altogether more difficult time aboard the brand new Honda CBR1000RR-R, scoring a solitary podium finish at Aragon on his way to ninth overall.

Honda meanwhile ended up a distant fourth in the manufacturers' race with less than half the points earned by champion make Kawasaki.

Alvaro Bautista, Team HRC

Alvaro Bautista, Team HRC<span class="copyright">Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images</span>
Alvaro Bautista, Team HRCGold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

"When we restarted the season with the Barcelona test, I started to feel a bit different with the bike, and I thought, ‘oh, it’s a big change’, in Japan they made a big improvement, especially on the electronics, power delivery, that we requested after the Australia race.

"Fortunately we made a really big step and started to get more confidence. After the Aragon test we did, before the Jerez race, I felt much better.

"Now I’m convinced that this project can arrive in a good place. But if you asked me at the beginning, I was so worried."

Bautista, who will once again be partnered by Leon Haslam at Honda in 2020, added that he "expected more" from 2020 but also admitted that the condensed schedule likely harmed the Japanese manufacturer more than its rivals.

"For sure we have to fix many things," he said. "I think this season we learned a lot, we collected a lot of data and we have many ideas for next year. Now we have to see if in Japan they can make these ideas we have [into reality].

"Sincerely, I expected a bit more from this season with this bike, but also the team was new, also they need time, especially in this kind of season, we have a lot of races very close [together] because of the COVID situation. For sure for us it was worse.

"A strange season, but I learned a lot and I think I’ll be stronger next year with my experience and I think my team will be more competitive from the beginning."

Alvaro Bautista, Team HRC, Leon Haslam, Team HRC

Alvaro Bautista, Team HRC, Leon Haslam, Team HRC<span class="copyright">Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images</span>
Alvaro Bautista, Team HRC, Leon Haslam, Team HRCGold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images