What they said after Argentina: emotions, new things for Honda for 2022…

The first overseas round of the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season in San Juan, Argentina produced a breathtaking spectacle. Between a confrontation in the last lap of the Tissot-Superpole Race, another step towards the title and important advances for some, there was a lot to say.

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “I saw Toprak very close to me and I thought, “f***de… I gave it my all! »

“The only thing that had to be on his mind was to win. He tried and I knew it. If Jonny hadn’t made the mistake, he would have won the race; Jonny was stronger than Toprak and me. When Toprak was behind him he was pushing so hard, whereas after Jonny’s mistake the pace slowed down. When I saw that and saw Toprak slow down, I thought we’d give it a shot, but he fought back. I tried several times, but on the last lap he pushed me and there was no space. In Race 2, I saw Toprak very close to me and I said to myself “f***de”, because if he was there the whole race, he was surely going to try at the end. I didn’t think of anything, neither the points, nor the Championship, nothing. Believe me, I gave it my all today, in the Superpole Race and in Race 2.”

The Championship leader then declared that his state of mind will not change even if the title is at stake: “It’s better not to change. The way it works, it’s going well, I appreciate it a lot and I don’t feel any pressure because I don’t think about the result, just in the present moment. So why change the mindset? I have to keep the one I have. We are in 2022 and then there is 2023. I have two more Rounds, then a long break, and then more Rounds. »

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK): “The team has always believed in me”

After his blunder in Race 1, Toprak Razgatlioglu returned to winning ways on Sunday: “The team has always believed in me. Saturday night, I was really unmotivated. Thanks to the team because they are really the key to my motivation. They also upgraded the bike for Sunday. I’m very happy about that. I have never seen such a team speak loudly after a fall. It wasn’t easy for me…mistake for the first time in two years. The team really helped me. »

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK): “I’m disappointed with the situation, we’re not competitive enough… we just can’t make the progress we need”

After losing the San Juan Superpole Race, Rea was upset, but he still drew positives: “I’m disappointed with the situation we’re in and the fact that we’re not competitive enough. But that’s how it is: Ducati and Alvaro, Yamaha and Toprak are doing an incredible job and we have to do better. The areas where we need to improve are clear. We can’t have it all, but I feel like we don’t have that benchmark anymore, which is good because I just hope everyone digs in and realizes this and reacts. This year at some circuits we are fighting with our hands tied behind our backs and it is frustrating. Other than that, I feel like I’m riding well and everyone inside the box is doing their best, but we just can’t make the progress we need. »

Iker Lecuona (Team HRC): “I think it’s been one of my best weekends! »

After fourth place in Race 1, Iker Lecuona was thrilled: “Honestly, I think it’s been one of my best weekends. Maybe even better than the Assen podium. It’s different because it’s a new circuit for me; I arrived on Friday and adapted very quickly. I was fast in each session. It was a big surprise for me to be fourth in Superpole. It gave me extra energy on the grid to fight for the podium. During the race, I was third; Alvaro passed me and, at that moment, I knew that my speed was a little slower than that of the first three; I do not care. It was the first race where the tires failed, but only two or three laps from the end. »

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “The objective is to work hard to have a good package to start 2023… Alvaro makes the difference”

Speaking about his goal for the future, Michael Ruben Rinaldi said: “The goal is to work hard to have a good package to start 2023. I signed a contract, I have the same bike, I evolve in the same team. If I want to fight for the title next year, I have to exploit these races as best I can to start next year as well as possible. I know that Alvaro, Toprak and Jonny are going to start on the right foot and that we have to be there if we want to fight for the title. I think Alvaro drives very well, and even on circuits where there is no big straight, he wins. It makes the difference compared to the rest of the Ducati. He wins because he rides fast, I can only watch him and try to improve. »

Xavi Vierge (Team HRC): “In Japan they work very hard… If in Mandalika we can exploit the new things, I hope we can go one step further”

Virgo thinks he still has to improve and that the super dealerships will help Honda: “Especially in the last phase of braking, we can’t turn as we want and then we’re hampered when exiting the curve, and we can’t exploit engine potential. So we focus on improving this part, in order to use the motor skills of the bike. We arrived at some circuits where we were more competitive, but there are other circuits where we had a lot of difficulties. Last year, in San Juan for example, both riders struggled a lot, but this year we both got good results. In Japan, they work very hard, so do we and we are getting closer. I hope that in the next two Rounds we can continue to progress for 2023. We will have some new things, and these will help us. If in Mandalika we can use the new things, I hope we can take a step forward. »

Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing): “Jonny is Jonny, a World Champion; it was a very difficult battle”

Before a Race 2 to forget, Axel Bassani spoke about his third podium of the season and his epic duel with Jonathan Rea in Race 1: “Jonny is Jonny! He is a World Champion; it was a very tough battle, we touched a lot, but I like riding like that. It’s WorldSBK for me. Alvaro had incredible pace; I tried to stay with him for two laps, but it was impossible, so I decided to manage the duel with Jonny and finish second. My engine helped me today. In the last part of the circuit, the Kawasakis and Yamahas are really fast. It was hard to stay ahead of Jonny. »

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What they said after Argentina: emotions, new things for Honda for 2022…

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