Álvaro Bautista told Motorsport.com his bewilderment at the direction that MotoGP is leading right now, which he says is the opposite of the increasingly popular WSBK.
After 16 years at the MotoGP World Championship, including nine in the queen class, Álvaro Bautista retired at the end of the 2018 season to join the Superbike World Championship, where he immediately challenged Jonathan Rea for the title.
Current leader in the general classification, the Spaniard continues to follow MotoGP. In an interview granted to Motorsport.comhas relied on his vision of these two championships.
Aleix Espargaró is one of the most talked about riders. Do you see a parallel between his season and yours?
I am very happy for him. We were classmates in 125cc in 2005. I started the Aprilia project in 2015 with a hybrid bike. He follows the path and I am happy for him. He is a hard worker and may somehow reflect my trajectory. We are both big and hardworking, we always want to progress and do a little more. [La saison] 2022 is where you get the most out of your bike and yourself, and that’s what MotoGP is missing today. [Les pilotes] today they are not able to get 100% off their bike and themselves. He, yes, he does.
We would like the WSBK to develop a bit. The atmosphere is amazing and I advise people who like to ride a bike to go see a race […] because it’s totally different from MotoGP. It happens from within. Spain lacks a bit of enthusiasm but in the Netherlands, England and other countries it is much followed and admired. We hope that little by little people will understand that he is not inferior but different and very disputed. There are currently no shows. I think in MotoGP everything is much slower.
Spectator numbers at WSBK are growing and generating genuine interest nationally and internationally. Still, MotoGP is not experiencing its best period at this level. What do you think are the reasons?
In Spain, the WorldSBK looked like a second division championship and that’s what I also thought about before I got there. Now I don’t think it can be compared to MotoGP. It’s great and I really like it. There is a lot of struggle and a lot of equality. The riders are no worse than the MotoGP riders, especially because in the past some MotoGP riders came and did nothing. It’s a totally different championship and more and more people are following it.
One of the important factors for MotoGP was the withdrawal of Rossi. The fact that he no longer drives has made a lot of people get into it [le championnat] Next. There has also been a very rapid generational change. Suddenly, in two or three years, they were in a hurry to lift the young drivers. […] They give way to almost inexperienced young pilots. The championship is totally crazy. I understand less and less about MotoGP racing. Some are fighting for victory [à une course] and not the one after.
Do you think it has to do with electronics? That the pilot is no longer so important in the development and development of a prototype?
Today, with so much electronics and technology, motorcycles are easier to drive, in the sense that motorcyclists have less control over them. There are many Moto2 riders who are fast and win races in MotoGP. When I was competing it was unthinkable, because finishing in the top five was a big win. That was winning.
Now I don’t know, it seems [qu’un pilote] reach out and win. Before, during a good weekend, we finished fifth because there was a Stoner with an official Ducati or Honda, a Rossi with an official Yamaha, a Marc Márquez with an official Honda, a Dani Pedrosa … There were names that had in the hands. his official bike, but now I don’t get it. I look at the races and I say to myself “either I was an idiot unable to win or … I don’t know.”
Without taking away the merit of any driver, I see so much equality that I don’t think the driver is that important. From the outside, that’s what I think after spending three years out of MotoGP. It doesn’t look like it was the same three or four years ago. I think the fact that the [développement] Motorcycles froze during the pandemic has erased the gap between factory motorcycles and satellites.