The Spaniard will be back on Ducati machinery after two years at Honda…
Whilst the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is well and truly alive at the Pirelli Navarra Round, there’s a major signing that has taken place for the 2022 grid. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) will leave Honda and return to the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati outfit, the team he raced for in 2019 in emphatic style before taking up the reigns on the HRC project for 2020 and 2021. The Spaniard, currently eleventh in the Championship, will hope for a return to top form in 2022 as he rejoins the team of which he took 16 race wins.
Bautista joined the WorldSBK family in 2019 when he switched from MotoGP™ where he was a regular top eight finisher for the Aspar Ducati outfit, having also enjoyed podiums and before that, World Championship success in 2006 in the 125cc Grand Prix class. He jumped on the Ducati Panigale V4 R in 2019 for his rookie WorldSBK campaign and made one of the most astounding impacts ever seen, winning his first 11 races with ease. Ultimately finishing as runner-up, the Spaniard moved to the all-new Honda project, which is supported by HRC. However, only one podium to-date has seen Bautista left wanting more, and he now wants a return to the kind of level he was at back in 2019.
Bautista’s last two years at Honda have been peppered with success and he’s been instrumental in developing the bike. He’s become known for his late race pace and making the bike work to the end, but the biggest highlight was at Aragon last year, when he took a Race 2 podium to the delight of the HRC squad. He also put Honda in the lead of as race in Barcelona in the Tissot Superpole Race, before crashing out. The Honda’s potential is there but Bautista feels it’s time to head back to a package he already knows he can win on. Still with a point to prove and eager to return to winning ways, Bautista will relish being back on the Ducati Panigale V4 R for 2022.