Reigning Champion Alvaro Bautista went in search of a second consecutive title in 2023 after his incredible success in 2022, and he duly delivered. Sporting the #1 plate for 2023 rather than his traditional #19, Bautista had a revised Panigale V4 R at his disposal for this season. He maximised the package to claim a record 25 wins on his way to a second successive title, as he matched Carl Fogarty’s feat of retaining the title with Ducati; ‘Foggy’ did it back in 1999, and it’s been a long wait for Ducati to have a rider defend their crown.
Bautista started competing in the MotoGP™ paddock in 2002 and was crowned 125cc World Champion in 2006. From there, he moved up into the 250cc class for three seasons (picking up eight wins along the way), before making the step into the premier class in 2010. With over 150 starts across four manufacturers in the MotoGP™ class alone, Bautista is one of the most experienced men to have graced the Championship, racing for Suzuki, Honda, Aprilia and Ducati.
The Spaniard switched to WorldSBK in 2019, jumping onboard the all-new Panigale V4 R with the Aruba.It Racing – Ducati squad. What followed was the best start ever to a WorldSBK career: 11 consecutive wins, many of them achieved in absolutely dominant fashion. While his season would take a downturn through the middle half, the 36-year-old still managed to end the year with 16 wins and the runner-up spot in the standings.
Bautista returned to Ducati for the 2022 season after two seasons with Team HRC and it was a move that rewarded rider, team and manufacturer. Bautista claimed the 2022 World Championship with a second place in Race 2 during the Indonesian Round. A year of consistency was the order for Bautista and 29 podiums in the first 33 races allowed him to wrap up the title with a round to spare.
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