“I felt like a block of concrete over the bike… Danilo did an incredible job; he’s like a hero!”

The 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season just keeps on giving. 12 races in, a new name leads the standings and there’s plenty of talk and gossip about the future, particularly involving the reigning Champion. We’ve gathered some of the best quotes from the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” for you to enjoy…

Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team): “We started a bit early with these wins but this is just the start!”

Starting with the hat-trick hero, who also now leads the standings, Razgatlioglu said about Race 2: “It was difficult to catch Nicolo because he was pushing at 100%. I don’t understand because we started the race and, at Turn 4, I saw everyone go inside the line to try to block the riders. I didn’t find a way to attack. Especially ‘Loka’, on the first lap, he used the inside of the corners, and it wasn’t easy to pass. I believed that after five laps, I would be strong. In the first laps, Nicolo was pushing, but I was closing in step by step. We improved the bike on Sunday, the front feeling was better. We are understanding hot conditions and which way is better with this bike. I had a problem in the final corner, a lot of chattering, but I was trying to find which way is better for my bike. I’m happy as I got three wins, and this was my target with BMW. We started a bit early with these wins, but this is just the start!”

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team): “I can’t believe it… when I crossed the finish line, I felt like someone stabbed my right arm!”

A heroic effort on his comeback from severe injuries sustained in training, a clearly emotional Petrucci said after P6 on Sunday: “I tried to keep my pace and I understood how to brake and stop the bike straighter. After half the race, I was really tired and also with the legs. I thought someone would pass me, but I watched my pit box, and I was keeping the distance and also catching Bassani. I didn’t know if I could finish the race because I started to lose the front. In the last five laps, I saw he was in trouble, so I switched my mind. I felt like a block of concrete over the bike! When I crossed the finish line, I felt like someone stabbed my right arm. There is nothing broken, there’s a big inflammation. I can’t believe it. I didn’t expect it.”

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “I’m more worried about recovering my confidence on the bike than deciding my future…”

No news about his 2025 plans yet, Alvaro Bautista is seemingly unbothered about it at this stage. On Sunday, he said: “It was a bit difficult, like Saturday. I couldn’t feel as I wanted with the bike, I was missing some confidence. I think we’ve changed the bike more than the whole of last season, and until we find something that allows me to have the confidence with the bike and rider like I want, it’s always difficult. Even if I started from the front in Race 2, I think the maximum would’ve been third. In the end, I’m not happy because we’re not at our best, but, at the same time, I got the maximum I could. I’m struggling a lot to stop the bike and go in, and then the exit is a consequence. At the moment, I don’t have any deadlines for my future. In my mind, there’s some questions and the main question is why I don’t have the same confidence as last year and what do I need to improve? About my future, I have no idea and also Ducati or Aruba haven’t asked me what I want to do. Maybe in this month, before Donington, we’ll speak or not. I’m more worried about recovering my confidence on the bike than deciding my future.”

Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK): “In this race, I understood a lot of things!”

A best weekend of 2024 for ‘El Bocia’, who was also full of praise for compatriot Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) after his heroics at Misano. Bassani said: “Sunday was better. I was lucky in the Superpole Race because there were a lot of crashes in front of me, and starting from P6 is easier for the first laps. I tried to manage the race, be consistent. I had some problems with the electronics. I’ve done a lot of races with this bike, but I have to work more on this bike, I have to change my work on the bike. In this race, I understood a lot of things. On the last lap, I tried to overtake Danilo, but he did an incredible job this weekend; he’s like a hero! To come here after two months and have three races like this was incredible.”

Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha): “It’s shit for me to have to start from zero after four rounds, it’s starting to chip away at me mentally…”

Another difficult round for Rea following his switch to Yamaha, who said: “Race 2 was my first chance of doing the long race, with no information. In the Superpole Race, I got good track position and finished eighth, which was very positive but quite far away from the leaders. In Race 2, the only target for me was to finish and to build a base to improve because my confidence is quite low now, with the bike and the feeling. The direction I want to go with the bike, I don’t seem to be able to make in-roads into arriving. Just starting again from zero, giving the feedback and trying not to get too emotionally involved about the result; it’s not good enough, 27 seconds from the victory is too much. I was quite a lot of seconds from the top Yamaha as well. We can improve, I expect to improve, but we need to make a big step. Before we can do that, I need to feel good with the bike. It’s shit for me to have to start from zero after four rounds, it’s starting to chip away at me mentally. It’s nice to be positive and I always try to be, but I’m struggling. I always say the light at the end of the tunnel theory but it’s hard to see the light. What’s true as well is sport is like that; all you need is one good day on the bike, or a breakthrough and you can start to arrive. I don’t want to doubt myself but it’s hard not to question myself because the other Yamahas are doing a really good job, but I have to keep demanding what I need from the team, and they need to react to what I’m saying.”

Iker Lecuona (Team HRC): “We made a step and also gained confidence!”

A positive weekend for Honda and Team HRC, with Lecuona in the top ten in all three races and securing a season-best P7. He said: “I think the worst part was the crash in Warm Up… but it was just to wake up! I’m really happy. We worked really hard during the test here, and during the round. We followed everything as planned. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not, but we made a step and we also made gained confidence. I improved a lot in that area. On Sunday, I struggled a lot in Race 2 with the front; I saved many crashes after 10 or 12 laps. The main difference is the confidence on the bike and having time on the bike. With all the injuries, it’s been impossible to ride a lot and to learn. I also have a new crew chief. I could only do a few tests and then I crashed, so I missed a lot of kilometres and the chance for my crew chief to learn about my style or what I need on the bike. During the last month, with your days of testing, we learnt a lot.”

Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “I won the first race in Australia, so when I’m second, we’re happy but not 100%…”

Now top Ducati in the Championship, Bulega was in good spirits on Sunday after three P2s on home soil, joking that his Race 1 win in Australia was a ‘stupid mistake’: “Toprak was just faster! I tried in the first laps, but I know that he was fast this weekend. I tried to make a gap to third place because I thought that if Toprak passed me, second was the best we could achieve this weekend. I have to be happy for my weekend. With new tyres, when we have grip, I have the speed. Maybe I miss some experience when the tyres start to drop, maybe to change the riding style. This weekend, I was always the first Ducati, so I think more than this was difficult. Unfortunately, I won the first race in Australia, so when I’m second, we’re happy but not 100%… I made a stupid mistake by winning the first race!”

Watch every moment from the 2024 WorldSBK season in style using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *