Well on his way to making it back-to-back WorldSBK championships in 2023, Bautista has been even more impressive than last season after winning 11 of the first 12 races. 

The factory Ducati rider has been just as dominant as the beginning of 2019 as he now gets set for the first of two home rounds for Ducati. 

Misano plays host to the first of those two rounds this weekend, and while full focus is on extending his championship lead over Toprak Razgatlioglu, Bautista will soon be aboard MotoGP machinery as a ‘prize’ for winning last season’s title.

Although it’s only scheduled as a one-day test, Ducati management have not ruled out the possibility of Bautista doing a MotoGP wildcard appearance later this season, however, the Spaniard claims the test is not part of a pre-arranged plan to do so. 

Talking about his upcoming test, Bautista told WorldSBK.com: "After I won the World Championship in WorldSBK, I asked Ducati to have a test with the MotoGP bike because, from the outside, it seems like a really fun bike. 

"We will do the test very soon. I don’t do the test with an intention to do a wildcard. I’d like to do the test and let’s see what happens. 

"I don’t think there’s a lot of chance to repeat what Troy Bayliss did in 2006. It was another time and it was different. 

"At the moment, in my mind, it’s only the World Superbike Championship. I just take the test like a prize and don’t think about Troy Bayliss."

Bautista needing to be ‘more precise’ in WorldSBK title defence

Bautista’s late race pace has been a big reason as to why he’s claimed so many wins in 2023 already.

However, the 38-year-old does not believe he will have things his own way at Misano: "My rivals are very strong, especially Toprak and Jonathan but also we have new names closing the gap like Locatelli or my teammate, Rinaldi. 

"Also, the two Hondas are very close. This year, you have to be more precise to make fewer mistakes and have more focus on the weekend otherwise you lose a lot of positions."