After more than a decade without winning the WorldSBK title, Bautista brought glory back to Ducati thanks to one of the greatest individual performances we’ve seen.

Racking up over 600 points - only Jonathan Rea has managed to do that in a single season previously (2019) - while the former MotoGP rider secured a series-leading 16 wins. 

Bautista did it with tremendous top speed from his Panigale V4 R, however, there was much more to Bautista’s title win than just a fast bike in a straight line.

The Spaniard was fast and consistent on all types of circuits, while also being able to match the likes of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Rea when it came to controlled aggression during their on-track battles.

Superior under braking than in any of his previous three Superbike seasons, Bautista also made huge jumps in that regard which was vital in attempting to challenge and eventually beat his main rivals.

But Bautista was also quick to point out that while his Ducati is obviously a fast bike, the Honda he rode in 2021 was even quicker.

"I remember that in 2021, with the Honda, I was faster in the straight," said Bautista when speaking exclusively to Crash.net. "The top speed was faster than last year. I think the way I can ride the bike and [the way I can be] aerodynamic on the straight can make the difference compared to the other Ducati riders. 

"For sure, I have some positive points and have advantages with my weight and my height, but also I have some negatives as well."

When I asked Bautista about whether he feels respected by his rivals, who have often lauded the top speed of his Ducati rather than immediately pointing to the 38-year-old as being the main reason for his success, Bautista was unconcerned by what others think. 

Bautista added: "It seems that for the other riders they can only see my positive areas and they don’t see my negatives. It doesn’t matter if they respect my championship or not. 

"What is important is to have fun on the bike and do my best. Last season I did quite well, my performance was quite good and I feel very happy, very proud of what I did last year and the way I did it. 

"It doesn’t matter if the other riders respect me or not, or if the media does or not because I feel happy, I feel very confident in what I’m doing. I’m here to have fun and do my best. 

"For last season I learned many things that I can improve this season. For this season in 23 I will try to improve myself and try to learn from the mistakes in the past and be a better rider. I don’t feel like I won the title just because of the top speed because I was quite competitive in all kinds of circumstances, at all the tracks, I was fighting for the victory in every race. 

"I don’t think it was only for my top speed or my weight. There has to be more than that. But if the other riders or the media don’t want to see the reality then it’s not my problem. I just keep working like I’m doing and try to be a better rider every time."