Bautista set to become Ducati WorldSBK rider in 2019

Tuesday, 21 August 2018 12:34 GMT

Spanish rider will join Chaz Davies as the Brit re-signs for two seasons Racing – Ducati announced today that they are set to take on 2019 with a different rider line up, as Alvaro Bautista will partner Chaz Davies into 2019. Sticking with Davies for the upcoming season, there will be all change on the other side of the garage as Bautista is set to make his SBK® debut.

With the team yielding the all new V4 engine next year, with all eyes on the red corner for the new year ahead. Excited to get the challenge underway, the factory Ducati squad are preparing for a big season and will welcome the experience of Bautista and Davies.

Spaniard Alvaro Bautista has been competing in the MotoGP™ paddock since 2002 and was crowned 125cc GP World Champion in 2006. From there, he moved up into the 250cc GP Championship for three seasons, before making the step into the premier class in 2010. With over 150 starts in the MotoGP™ class alone, he brings waves of experience into the WorldSBK paddock.

Preparing to make his debut in the world's fastest production-based motorcycle series, Bautista explains: “Next season will be a new challenge as I will move from MotoGP™ after 16 years. I am so motivated and it will be a new challenge for me, the confidence Ducati put in me is really good. I think we can get a good result in WorldSBK and I think we can have fun. I’m looking forward to moving to the WorldSBK championship, I think it is growing and I think we can make some good results.”

On the other side of the garage, the Bologna factory will be sticking with Chaz Davies for two more seasons. The Welsh rider has been in red since 2014, and his new deal will see this relationship stretch to seven seasons. Finishing as runner up in WorldSBK on two occasions on board the Panigale R, he will hope to go that extra step with the V4. With a tally of 29 wins and 78 podiums so far in SBK®, he looks forward to extending this with the new bike.

Davies explains: “I’ve had a long history with Ducati, this is my fifth season with them. So it’s really exciting times going forward with the new V4. I think that is going to be an interesting change, it’s a different direction for Ducati, and a really really exciting one.

“I’m excited about the whole project, I love being with Ducati and the Aruba team – we have so many good people – it is like a family. We are looked after really well and everyone is always optimistic, it’s a dream situation to have people like that around me as well as having this opportunity to have a fresh bike when signing the new contract.”

Keep up with the final eight races for the Panigale R machine, and with all the latest news and interviews all with the WorldSBK VideoPass.