Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali has hit back at Alvaro Bautista following his move to Honda and says the Italian manufacturer offered him a seven-figure two-year deal which he turned down.

Following an interview with GPOne.com in which Bautista dismissed his switch to Honda was motivation by money, Domenicali has taken to Twitter to give his side of the story around the Spanish rider’s contract saga.

Domenicali says Ducati offered Bautista a new deal “with six zeros in two years” which the former MotoGP rider rejected. The Italian chief also made it clear Bautista made his intentions to move to Honda clear before Ducati opted to promote Scott Redding to its factory World Superbike squad from 2020.

“This picture was the beginning of a fantastic row of wins. Now Bau Bau says he left Ducati for Honda when we decided for Scott, and it was not for the money,” Domenicali said.

“But we made him an offer with 6 zero in two years and he refused, he wanted more, nothing else. Life is about choices.”

Bautista will join the new HRC World Superbike squad from 2020 and will aim to spearhead its efforts with a new Superbike which is expected to be officially revealed in the coming weeks.

Speaking after the announcement of his Honda move, the former 125cc world champion said the all-new project was key motivation over any speculation around money.

“It was not easy because I am really happy with the Ducati family because we started the season with the new bike, new project and we won a lot of races,” Bautista said.

“So it was not easy but in the end the project HRC offered me motivated me a lot because we start from zero, so I feel like an important person in this project.”

Bautista is in action this weekend for Aruba.it Racing Ducati at the Magny-Cours World Superbike round as he aims to close the 91-point deficit on championship leader Jonathan Rea.

The Spaniard stormed to victory in all of the opening 11 races of the 2019 campaign but has endured a wretched run of results over the last four rounds with just one win in the past 10 races.

As a result, Bautista has gone from favourite to clinch Ducati’s first World Superbike crown since Carlos Checa in 2011 to leaving the factory team and replaced by fellow ex-MotoGP rider Redding.

 

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