WSB: Ducati confirm Bautista and Davies for 2019

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Alvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies will form Aruba Ducati’s World Superbike line up for the 2019 season aboard the all new 1000cc V4 Panigale.

2006 125cc World Champion Bautista announced that he would depart the Grand Prix paddock after 16 years to move to Superbike next year alongside the Welshman with Marco Melandri leaving the squad after two seasons.

Speaking to MCN at Silverstone, Ducati Corse boss Paolo Ciabatti confirmed that Davies will test the new 1000cc V4 in the next month or so while Bautista is expected to get his first taste of the bike at Jerez in November if not before.

“This is a new challenge for me, after 16 years in Grand Prix I move to World Superbikes,” Bautista told MCN. “I’m really happy for this, especially to be going with Ducati because they are very strong in World Superbikes.

“I had offers from Honda and BMW, but they were looking more towards the future. They want to make a competitive bike but were looking more to 2020 and beyond whereas I wanted something competitive from the beginning and Ducati can offer this so it was the best offer. They have fought for the championship in the past few seasons and I work with Ducati now and know how hard they work.”

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing