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MotoGP Malaysian GP

World Superbike champion Bautista not expecting Pedrosa-style MotoGP wildcard at Sepang

World Superbike champion Alvaro Bautista says he cannot expect to replicate the form Dani Pedrosa has shown in 2023 when he makes his MotoGP return as a wildcard in Malaysia.

alvaro-bautista-ducati-misano--1

Bautista moved to WSBK in 2019 with Ducati after losing his ride in MotoGP, previously serving nine years in the class riding Suzuki, Honda, Aprilia and Ducati machinery.

The double WSBK champion will make his first MotoGP appearance since the 2018 Valencia GP this weekend in Malaysia as a wildcard with Ducati.

Bautista hasn’t ridden the GP23 since his last test on it in August at Misano and joked KTM test rider Pedrosa’s impressive wildcard showings at Jerez and Misano have put “more pressure” on his own outing.

“That especially [makes] everybody put more pressure [on me] because they say ‘Dani can do it’,” Bautista said on Thursday at Sepang when asked if he could expect to replicate Pedrosa’s form.

“No, but Dani is in a very different situation because Dani has lots of kilometres on the KTM and he was really fast in Misano.

“For sure, he missed some racing pace and for sure he can even do better because missing racing is always more difficult when you have to race with other riders.

“In my case, it’s the opposite, I have race pace but I miss some experience with the bike.

Alvaro Bautista, Ducati, Misano testing

Photo by: Matteo Cavadini

Alvaro Bautista, Ducati, Misano testing

“For that, it’s important to get the feeling with the bike as soon as possible.

“But for sure, it’s good to see Dani fighting for those positions. But in this case, it’s not too good because maybe it’s ‘Dani can do it, so maybe you can too’. But we are in a different situation.”

Pedrosa finished sixth in the Jerez sprint and seventh in the Spanish GP, while he scored a brace of fourths at the San Marino GP weekend.

Bautista’s last taste of factory Ducati machinery came at the 2018 Australian GP, in which he replaced the injured Jorge Lorenzo and went on to finish fourth.

His final MotoGP result of seventh at that year’s Malaysian GP came on a two-year-old Aspar-run Ducati.

As such, his expectations in terms of results are non-existent.

“Well, the expectation, nothing about results,” he added.

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“Just I try to have some fun, try to have a good feeling with the bike because it’s not the same to do a test, where you can try and get the pace step by step.

“Here is a really difficult track, I like it a lot, but the most important thing is to get the feeling as soon as possible, to get good pace and try to have fun.

“About results, I don’t have expectations. Just to get the best feeling with the bike and try to do my best, and for sure to have fun. That’s the target.”

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