Nicolo Bulega remains level-headed after an impressive Jerez test.
WorldSBK rookie, Nicolo Bulega was the fastest rider at the end of the Jerez test onboard the Aruba.it Ducati. Bulega set 69 laps throughout the day – setting a 1’37.809 lap time (faster than the lap record).
His teammate Alvaro Bautista was down in 16th, setting a 1’39.583 as he continues his recovery.
“I am happy because we took another step forward, even compared to yesterday, and the feeling has grown steadily,” Bulega said after finishing two days of testing. “We worked well on the time attack and that means I was also able to improve on the qualifying tires.
“I think it was an important test and now we go to Portimao to continue on this path. Today’s lap time? It doesn’t change anything: I remain a rookie and my objectives are different to the top riders”.
The 2023 WorldSSP Champion, won the title in style for the Aruba.it WorldSSP team. The Italian won 16 races in 2023 – finishing off the podium three times (including a DNF at Catalunya).
His biggest challenger in 2023 was Stefan Manzi riding for Ten Kate – finishing second in the Championship. Manzi finished the season 95 points down from Bulega and remain in WorldSSP in 2024.
Nicolo Bulega will not be the only rookie on this season’s grid, with Tarran Mackenzie also moving from WorldSSP. Sam Lowes and Andrea Iannone will also be rookies in 2024, as the WorldSBK grid expands in quality.
Nicolo Bulega is still adjusting to the Ducati, finding good one-lap pace but is continuing to improve his race pace. During the test there was no mechanical issue with his bike however, he did stop once on the circuit – running out of fuel.
Bulega will have one more test in Europe on January 29th-30th at Portimao before they fly to Phillip Island.
Expanding on the test to worldsbk.com, Bulega added: “It’s just a test! It doesn’t change anything. I’m still a rookie, I just want to enjoy my first season in WorldSBK, I think there’s nothing special at Portimao, just to continue on this way and always getting better with my bike.
“I feel quite ready. Yesterday not too much, but today with the race tyre, I improved a lot and I think we can do well. I hope my rivals are worried! At the moment, I’m not sure, but I hope so!”
Image credit: Ducati Media