Ducati has confirmed Alvaro Bautista will make a sensational return to the Italian manufacturer in 2022, joining Michael Ruben Rinaldi in the Aruba.It garage.
The 2006 125cc world champion will replace Scott Redding, who was recently announced as signing for Motorrad BMW.
Bautista will be aiming to rediscover the form which saw him dominate the first half of the 2019 season, claiming 11 victories on the bounce – a record start to any WorldSBK career. 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.
The Spanish rider leaves Honda after a turbulent two years in which many crashes and technical issues have largely plagued the development and subsequent success of the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade, especially in 2021.
There has been some limited success for Bautista at Team HRC in the form of a podium during race two at MotorLand Aragon last year. However, similar results have been hard to come by since, as Bautista has just one top five finish this season.
Many in the paddock also expect Leon Haslam – Bautista’s teammate for the last two seasons – to head for the exit at the end of this campaign as well.
A return to BSB with Kawasaki is rumoured to be on the cards for Haslam, while potential options for Honda include Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies and Danilo Petrucci who are all available for 2022.
Lead Image: Ducati Media House