Serafino Foti, Team Principal at Aruba.it Ducati, believes the return of Alvaro Bautista can help the Italian manufacturer win a first WorldSBK title since Carlos Checa did so in 2011. 

After two tough years at Honda where Bautista was winless, the Spaniard has re-joined the team he won 16 races with as a rookie in the Superbike championship for 2022. 

Bautista replaces the outgoing Scott Redding who has joined BMW for 2022, which means Bautista will ride alongside four-year Ducati rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi. 

While Redding was a more consistent title challenger in both his seasons with Ducati, Bautista’s 2019 win total of 16 is more than Redding and Rinaldi have combined for in the last two years - 15 wins in total - 12 of which went to Redding. 

Therefore, if Bautista can re-adapt quickly to the Panigale V4 R and add some consistency that has so far been lacking in his three WorldSBK campaigns, then a title challenge is surely on the cards, something his new team principal strongly believes will happen. 

"Of course, we have a good memory with Alvaro because we won 16 races together, we can't forget this," said Foti when speaking to the official World Superbike website.

"We strongly believe in him and we strongly believe in this package. The package is the combination of rider and bike. 

"We will have a good advantage with Alvaro because he is small, the weight is less, for sure the top speed and we will do our best to reach, finally, our dreams, our goal.  

"We want to say welcome again Alvaro. And, we are really excited to start the new challenge and we can't wait to see him on the bike."

In terms of the 2021 season, it was another strong one for the team as Redding was in title contention until the penultimate round in Argentina.

Foti summed it up as ‘positive’ although there were too many ‘ups and downs’: "It’s been a positive championship because we won many races with both riders. And so, we are quite happy even if our target is different because our target, our goal is to win the championship. 

"Our performance sometimes has been up and down, up and down. This is one of the critical points that we need to work for the future. 

"We need to find a base setup that works well in every race. This is our goal and of course we need to work in all areas; electronics, chassis and all areas of the bike. If we fight to be consistent, we can be fast next year for sure."