Alvaro Bautista returns to the scene of his most recent World Superbike victory looking to continue the podium form he has built in the closing stages of his final WorldSBK campaign for Honda.

When the Spaniard won the opening race at the 2019 San Juan Villicum round it was his 16th and final victory in an extraordinary debut season for Ducati.

Bautista returns to Argentina with only three podiums to show for his Honda adventure - but looks to have saved his best for last with a pair of rostrums in the past three rounds, falling after a clash with Loris Baz while in contention for another and being no lower than fifth in the last five races he has finished.

“I’m happy to go to Argentina, not only because I like the track but also because it is a signal that the global situation is improving as far as the pandemic is concerned. We might not be ‘back to normal’ yet but it’s a step forward," said Bautista.

"I have good memories of the track, having won there on my first visit two years ago. The layout is enjoyable because it offers a bit of everything, with some long corners, changes of direction and hard braking areas. It’s a challenging track for everyone and I’m looking forward to tackling it.

"We will adopt our usual approach, trying to start well already on Friday and keep up the good work we’ve been doing. I’m looking forward to further closing the gap and getting the best possible performance from our package.”

While Bautista is returning to Ducati next season, current team-mate Leon Haslam is also expected to depart Honda to make way for an all-new line-up of MotoGP rider Iker Lecuona and Moto2's Xavi Vierge.

Haslam took a best finish of sixth on his previous San Juan appearance, while at Kawasaki.

“I’ve raced in Argentina just once before, in 2019, and I actually had a crash on the first day, so it wasn’t the best weekend for me," said Haslam. "Having said that, I love to go to new circuits and different countries so it’s definitely exciting to have an overseas race where we travel outside of Europe.

"Hopefully we can go there and enjoying both the racing and Argentina itself.”

Haslam, who has a best finish of fourth so far this season, starts the penultimate round holding twelfth in the world championship, with Bautista in ninth.