While the pair have had their ups and downs in 2022, most notably at Magny-Cours when the two collided, the six-time WorldSBK champion heaped praise on both Bautista and Ducati following a dominant season.

Sure, Bautista didn’t win 11 races in succession like in 2019, however, to win the title with one round to go whilst battling against Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu, shows just how consistent and fast the Spaniard has been. 

Mandalika was just the second race weekend this season where Bautista failed to win a race, but even so, two second places and a fourth in the Superpole Race was enough for him to claim the title, which Rea said ‘don’t come cheap’ at this level of racing.

"Today’s about Alvaro and Ducati and the World Championship. Big congratulations to them," said Rea. "They’ve really been the benchmark this year and dominated races and it’s a good reference for us to go into the winter and try to improve. 

"I just hope they can enjoy the moment now. I know that feeling and I’m sure he’s going to be on cloud nine for many days now. He’s had a really good year, been in control and looked at ease with his bike. 

"You’re never happy for someone to beat you, but respect. I know what it feels like; I know how hard you have to work. Respect and congratulations to him. 

"I saw him on the slow down lap. I remember the feeling slightly because when it happens, you’re in your own bubble. 

"I tried to get his attention on the slow down lap to really say congratulations, but he was in his own bubble! I’m guessing he’ll be like that for quite a while. These don’t come cheap so big congratulations."

Regarding his own performance, Rea came close to winning the Superpole Race in what was one of his better showings in the last few rounds. 

The Kawasaki rider was also very strong at different stages of Race 2 before ultimately lacking the pure pace of both Bautista and race winner Razgatlioglu. 

"Sunday has been really positive," added Rea when reflecting on another winless weekend. "Like I said yesterday, I was quite content and satisfied with being on the podium. We were quite far from the race win. 

"Today we were able to really close that gap. I could fight with Toprak for the Superpole Race. The rhythm was incredibly fast. So, I'm happy to be P2 there. 

"In Race 2 today I felt something in the middle of the race. I couldn't go, I was catching the guys at the front, and I felt like this could be good but again, in the last laps I just really struggled to get the best from my bike. 

"Things were moving around a little bit. I just had to close the gap. My confidence was dropping because I was riding completely on the limit. 

"Satisfied, as I've said we've made a good step. I want to thank my team for making a good step from yesterday."