Bautista back on a MotoGP bike for first time since 2018 at Misano

WorldSBK champion Alvaro Bautista is back aboard MotoGP machinery for the first time in five years as he gets set for a two-day test at Misano.
Alvaro Bautista, Ducati MotoGP Misano test 2023
Alvaro Bautista, Ducati MotoGP Misano test 2023

As was the case with Toprak Razgatlioglu following his WorldSBK title success with Yamaha in 2021, Bautista’s reward for winning the 2022 title is an opportunity to ride Ducati’s dominant MotoGP bike. 

Not only is the two-day test an opportunity to ride a MotoGP bike, but Bautista’s performance could go a long way in determining whether he’s awarded a wildcard later in the season. 

Bautista is currently leading the WorldSBK standings by 86 points over Razgatlioglu, thanks to his 14 wins from 15 races.

And if Bautista continues showing that type of form then a second world title could be secured well before the end of the year, making a wildcard appearance even more likely in MotoGP.

Speaking ahead of his test which begins today, Bautista told "I feel so happy to ride a MotoGP bike again as it’s been a long time since I rode this kind of bike. 

"For sure, the excitement is there. At the same time, I know it’s just a prize so it’s about taking it easy, building some references, some feeling with the bike and that’s it. 

"I’ll try to have some fun riding the bike. In the end, I approach this test with the mentality that it’s a test. It’s not for anything in the future.

"It’s to have some fun during the two-day test. I don’t want to take risks because we have three races in a row very soon, and that’s the important thing. 

"This test is just to have fun. I don’t try to find the limit. I just go there and take some references and feeling and have some fun."

With ‘fun’ being the main thing Bautista wants to get out of the test, heading into it with a particular lap time in mind is therefore not something he’s looking to do.

"I don’t have any lap time in mind," added the Spaniard. "I’m going to make the test just with my feeling without watching the lap times. That’s all. 

"There is no target with lap times. The target is just to have fun, try to get a good feeling and understand the new MotoGP machinery with the aero packages and all the electronic items and everything that the bike has now compared to when I raced. That’s all. 

"After the test, there is nothing more. We have the test because it’s a prize for the World Championship we won last season. It’s a prize. There is no other reason. 

"After the test, if we have a good feeling, I will be happy. Otherwise, I will not be as happy as I expect to be!"

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