A clear highlight from the 2022 WorldSBK season, and one that will take a lot of living up to this season, were the incredible battles between Bautista, Razgatlioglu and Rea.

Bautista’s first WorldSBK title win means he’s now joined Razgatlioglu and Rea in the champions club, a club that only Tom Sykes is also part of when it comes to current riders who have won a Superbike championship.

The Spaniard did so in a season where Razgatlioglu and Rea were arguably at their very best, despite the pair having bikes that appeared unable to challenge the Ducati on several occasions.

Still, Bautista was a clear step ahead of any other Ducati rider, which was highlighted by his 16 wins to their combined tally of zero.

Bautista, who was used to fighting against Rea following their championship battle in 2019, was up against Razgatlioglu for the first time on a consistent basis.

And while the type of racing was more intense, hard-fought and aggressive compared to anything he’d previously faced during his first three seasons in Superbikes, Bautista felt as though he thrived under pressure and avoided going into ‘crisis’ at any stage.

"For sure the battles with Jonathan and Toprak is a bit different from the MotoGP," Bautista exclusively told Crash.net. "Especially because these bikes and these tyres allow you to battle in a different way. 

"You can make more different lines and the bikes and tyres allow you to make different braking [lines]. The bikes are also more different between the manufacturers. 

"The Kawasaki has some better points than the Yamaha and you can use it during the battles. But for me, this year the battles - I felt like I had everything under control. I was more prepared for all the conditions and when I was in front I was more prepared to have some passes from Toprak or Jonathan and I was more prepared to prepare the re-attack. 

"I think there have been some good battles because when I was on TV it seemed like more battles than when I was inside [the race]. For me it’s good because I felt under control in every battle, every moment. 

"Magny-Cours was the only moment where I could do nothing to save the crash because Jonathan just hit me. That was the only moment that I could not control because it was impossible but every other time I was controlling the situation and able to not take many risks and be as clean as possible. 

"For sure I enjoyed every moment and I never got nervous or went into a crisis. I enjoyed the battles and it was natural in every moment."