Alvaro Bautista completed a positive first WorldSBK test for Ducati at Jerez, his first for the Aruba.it team since 2019, while Michael Rinaldi missed out due to injury. 

Bautista is replacing Scott Redding for the 2022 season after the former BSB champion decided to join BMW midway through the year. As for Rinaldi, it will be the Italian rider’s second year in the factory team. 

Bautista’s return to Ducati sees him re-join the team he clinched 17 wins with - all came during his 2019 rookie season as he finished runner-up to Jonathan Rea.

And after nearly two full days of testing last week, the first impressions seem to be a ‘positive’ one for the Spaniard. 

Bautista was testing with the Italian manufacturers new WorldSSP rider Nicolo Bulega, but without new team-mate Rinaldi as the two-time race winner at Misano remained side-lined by a race two crash in the season finale at Mandalika. 

Instead, Rinaldi is now scheduled to test in January along with Bautista as the team has a ‘lot of work to do’ according to Ducati Corse Technical Director, Marco Zambenedetti. 

"It was important to arrive here as soon as possible after the end of the season and have the first feedback," said Zambenedetti when speaking to the Official World Superbike website.  

"It’s important to use all the Christmas and January to give Alvaro [Bautista] what he requests. I would have liked to have Michael [Rinaldi[ with us because we have a lot of parts to test, but unfortunately he could not be here after the Mandalika crash. 

"Instead, it will be a part of our test in January. Alvaro, for sure after two years with Honda must make a jump back on what were his habits. 

"We have a lot of work to do this winter, but the first feedback is positive. I’m happy because we have the time, also with this weather, to work well."