While the 2019-spec Panigale V4 R made continued improvements which culminated in Bautista winning the 2022 WorldSBK title, the brand new V4 R is expected to be an even better machine.

Bautista was sensational throughout the 2022 campaign which was of no great surprise given the form he showed aboard the Panigale as a rookie in 2019.

And while his championship win was very much deserved after being the best rider for large parts of the season, Ducati have chosen not to rest on their laurels.

A new V4 R will be debuted on January 25 when testing begins at Jerez, with Bautista, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Axel Bassani, Danilo Petrucci and Phillip Oettl all expected to be aboard their new Ducati machines. 

"We will start the winter tests with the new bike so I’m looking forward to having a good feeling with the bike again," Bautista told Crash.net. "It's been two months since the last race and since I rode this bike. For sure, we have to see how the new Panigale is. 

"There is not a big change on the bike and every time there is a new bike you have to check that everything is correct and working well. 

"We don’t have many tests before the first round so we have to use the maximum time at the track and try to get the maximum performance for the first race in Australia."

Bautista rode the last Panigale when it was both new and coming towards the end of its life cycle, but although a new bike should offer more potential, the Spaniard is unsure how much better it will be, if at all.  

Bautista added: "It’s clear that from 2019 the bike improved a lot. No big change but especially in the weak points they improved and made the bike better. 

"But there are some areas like turning - turning without gas and without brakes - that can be a bit better. Also, exiting from the corner - exit stability and especially the feeling with the front we need to improve. 

"I don’t know if the new Panigale will improve or not. We have to check and see. But we’re very clear on the areas we need to improve. 

"Ducati knows very well that in those areas we lose compared to other manufacturers. For sure, we have other areas where we have better points than them, but those areas were our target to improve. Turn a bit better naturally and exit from the corners."