MotoGP: Alvaro Bautista to take part in two-day Ducati test at Misano

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Reigning World Superbike Champion Alvaro Bautista will take part in a two-day MotoGP test at Misano on June 20-21.

The Racing Ducati racer has dominated so far in 2023, winning all but one of the 15 races held so far this season. The only rider to beat him at this stage of his campaign is Toprak Razgatlioglu in the sprint race in Indonesia.

Bautista will now return to Misano, the circuit where he claimed yet another hat-trick earlier this month, onboard a Ducati Desmocedici MotoGP bike.

The Spaniard rode for Aspar Ducati in MotoGP in 2018 and 2017, finishing 12th in both campaigns and securing a best result of fourth at Argentina in 2017, and again at Phillip Island in 2018 – stepping in at the factory team as a replacement for Jorge Lorenzo.

Prior to that, Bautista spent two years with Aprilia, three with Honda and two with Suzuki in the premier class. Bautista finished fifth and sixth overall in 2012 and 2013 onboard Honda machinery, riding for the Gresini team. The 38-year-old secured his first MotoGP pole (Silverstone) and podiums (Misano and Motegi) in 2012.

Alvaro Bautista onboard the factory Ducati at Phillip Island in 2018

Aside from his exploits in MotoGP, Bautista won the 125cc World Championship in 2006 and finished runner-up to Marco Simoncelli in the 250cc World Championship in 2008.

Bautista’s upcoming two-day will no doubt see rumours of a potential wildcard entry increase in the coming weeks. However, in an interview with earlier this year, Bautista appeared to shoot down the idea.

“After I won the World Championship in WorldSBK, I asked Ducati to have a test with the MotoGP bike because, from the outside, it seems like a really fun bike,” Bautista said. “We will do the test very soon. I don’t do the test with an intention to do a wildcard. I’d like to do the test and let’s see what happens.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of chance to repeat what Troy Bayliss did in 2006. It was another time, and it was different. At the moment, in my mind, it’s only the World Superbike Championship. I just take the test like a prize and don’t think about Troy Bayliss.”

Bayliss became the first, and only, rider to win the World Superbike Championship title and win a MotoGP race in the same season after replacing the injured Sete Gibernau at Ducati for the MotoGP season finale at Valencia.

Should the two-day test at Misano be successful, it may well be that Bautista changes his mind regarding a wildcard outing. Watch this space.