MotoGP: Aspar Ducati pair earn their keep

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The Pull&Bear Aspar Ducati pair of Karel Abraham and Alvaro Bautista have come away from their second race together as teammates having made an impressive mark on the series so far, after the Czech rider first taking second on the grid before his Spanish teammate brought the GP16 Ducati home in fourth place at last weekend’s Argentinian Grand Prix.

And it’s a sign of just how comfortable the pair are with their new-found pace that instead of being content with his best result in years, Bautista was instead dejected after the race that a poor qualifying position prevented him from getting involved in the podium battle.

“I was seven seconds from the leaders, but it could have been less. Starting from the back is always difficult, and I was lucky in Qatar that I was able to overtake a lot of guys, but here I got among the other guys and lost a lot of time. Riders like Petrucci and Dovizioso made it difficult for me and I had to wait until they couldn’t follow me to overtake.

“In the final laps, I was stronger than the front riders, but by then the gap was too big. I think that if I had qualified in a better position then I could have fought for the podium, but I’m happy with the feeling and the performance so far.”

And while Abraham was unable to convert his front row start into anything better than a top ten finish, the Czech racer came away from the weekend delighted not only with his performances but with having an opportunity to correct the critics who questioned whether he should be even in the class after a torrid year in World Superbikes in 2016.

“Of course it’s nice for me. In the past seasons, the package I had just wasn’t competitive enough, and even though I was trying really hard we were struggling with mechanical problems, bike failures, and many different problems. There was many people saying bad things about me coming back, but since the first time I sat on the bike at Valencia, I felt really good.

“Every single time I exit onto the track I’ve improved, and Argentina is a track that suits me well so it was a bit easier to make a good result, but hopefully it also proves that I still deserve a place in MotoGP.”


Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer