Nicolo Bulega, unfazed after breaking WorldSBK lap record: ‘I don’t feel pressure’.

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For the second day in a row of WorldSBK testing in Barcelona, Nicolo Bulega topped the timesheets as the fastest rider.

On the last day of WorldSBK testing in Barcelona, Nicolo Bulega’s otherwise flawless performance had a minor setback with a slight tip-off at turn one. However, this didn’t deter him from ultimately seizing the top spot from Danilo Petrucci.

Having already claimed victory in Race 1 at Phillip Island, Bulega maintained his impressive speed throughout the second day of testing, culminating in setting a new lap record.

Continuing to outpace two-time world champion Alvaro Bautista, Nicolo Bulega remained a constant contender within the top three, fiercely competing against Danilo Petrucci and Jonathan Rea.

Reflecting on his new lap record, Bulega expressed, “I aimed for the 1’39 mark, but in the afternoon session after lunch, the track conditions deteriorated with increased humidity; it made things more challenging.

“I don’t sense pressure; instead, it fuels my motivation and fills me with pride. This achievement is significant because it shows we’re heading in the right direction with my team.


“Alvaro [Bautista] is incredibly fast here; he was outstanding last year! If I can strive to stay ahead of him, it would be an exceptional result for me.

“Usually, having a strong teammate is beneficial. It’s great to have Alvaro; he serves as motivation, and naturally, your teammate is the first competitor you want to surpass.

“Sharing the same bike and team, whether I’m ahead of him or vice versa, it serves as excellent motivation.”

In contrast, Alvaro Bautista faced challenges in matching the same pace and feeling he had on day one in the factory Ducati garage.

“Right from the morning, it felt tougher than yesterday,” Bautista began. “There was less grip on the tyres, and I carried this sensation throughout the day. The overall feeling with the bike wasn’t quite right today.

“Physically, I’m back to form, but yesterday I managed to improve my feeling as the day progressed. However, today I started off worse than yesterday, and I couldn’t regain that positive sensation.

“I’m not entirely sure if it was due to track conditions, but today I just couldn’t find that good feeling.”

When pressed on the main challenges he faced, Bautista pointed to difficulties in turning and getting strong acceleration out of the corners.

“The biggest challenge was definitely turning. I struggled a lot with the throttle, needing to exert a lot of force with the bike. There wasn’t much grip at the rear, leading to spinning. The bike wasn’t able to grip and propel forward.

“The lack of rear grip made it difficult to navigate the corners, causing me a lot of trouble. Testing is one thing, and race weekends are another.

“Last season’s test felt much better, with a stronger pace. This year, it’s a different story, and we need to work on understanding why I experienced these difficulties.”

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