"If he finishes in the top ten, he could be very happy" – MotoGP™ title contenders discuss Bautista’s return

Thursday, 9 November 2023 10:57 GMT

Speaking in the press conference in Malaysia, Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin previewed Alvaro Bautista’s wildcard

Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) is readying up for a wildcard MotoGP™ appearance at the Malaysian Grand Prix, with the two-time MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship title winner on the Ducati Desmosedici GP at Sepang. In the press conference ahead of the Grand Prix, the top two in the MotoGP™ standings gave their thoughts on the Spaniard’s wildcard and what could be expected of him this weekend.

BAGNAIA’S THOUGHTS: “he will enjoy it a lot!”

Defending Champion Francesco Bagnaia heads into the Malaysian Grand Prix as the Championship leader, 13 points clear of his rival. He was the first to give his thoughts on the double WorldSBK Champion’s wildcard, praising the bike he will compete on as well as outlining what ‘Pecco’ believes a good result for the 38-year-old would be.

The Italian said: “It’ll be nice for him to ride with us and our bike. Our bike is incredibly fast, it’s an incredible bike for braking and everything. He will enjoy it a lot. I think, if he finishes in the top ten, he could be very happy.”

MARTIN SAYS: “I hope he can be competitive!”

Although Jorge Martin, second in the standings, didn’t put an exact target on where he thinks Bautista will finish, he did express his hopes that he could be competitive in Malaysia. The Spaniard also reflected on the double WorldSBK Champion’s pace at the Misano test where he returned to MotoGP™ machinery as he gave his thoughts on the wildcard.

Martin added: “It’s difficult for me to expect some kind of result. We need to wait to see him. I think he had a great test at Misano. We know he’s a fast rider. He has some good points on the straight here, but the level is so high. We need to understand tomorrow but I hope he can be competitive.”

Follow coverage of Bautista’s wildcard from Sepang using the WorldSBK VideoPass