Ducati have enjoyed more success than any other manufacturer when it comes to WorldSBK titles, however, that same success came as part of a previous generation of bikes and riders.

More recent history has seen Kawasaki and to a lesser extent Yamaha dominate Superbike racing.

Jonathan Rea’s six world title wins along with Tom Sykes in 2013 resulted in Kawasaki winning seven titles in eight years, while Toprak Razgatlioglu took Yamaha back to the top of WorldSBK in 2021.

But from round one of the 2022 season Bautista and Ducati showed that they were just as strong as 2019. The difference this time around is that greater consistency, more experience and an even faster combination of Bautista and the Panigale V4 R were to be contended with.

It ultimately proved to be a combination that neither Razgatlioglu or Rea could beat as Bautista won the championship before the final race weekend in Phillip Island.

Speaking about what the achievement has meant to him, Bautista told WorldSBK.com: "World Champion 2022 sounds really good. When you get back home and see your family and friends, that's when you will say: “I know what I got, what I achieved and now it’s time to enjoy it”. 

"I think the hashtag I was using this season, #TheReturn, can mean many, many things. The return to Ducati. The return to be a competitive rider. The first day we started to work together, I was a bit nervous. 

"I knew that I could be fast and competitive but, before you jump on the bike, simply I had a doubt but when I did the first laps on the bike, the doubt disappeared. I was smiling because I felt the bike was mine."

Winning the WorldSBK title in 2022 when the series was arguably more competitive than ever showed that Bautista is still in his prime, but to do it with Ducati was an even bigger accomplishment for the man who left them for Honda just three years ago.

"Everybody in the past told me I have to be a champion with Ducati," added Bautista. "It’s something different. You don’t realise that until you do it. It’s true. 

"I remember here in WorldSBK, three years ago, when I won the first race with Ducati. It was very special. Many people become crazy! I feel I will have a space in Ducati history forever."