Alvaro Bautista to wildcard with Ducati at Malaysian MotoGP

Ducati will run Alvaro Bautista as a wildcard at the MotoGP Malaysian GP later this year in November, after multiple tests conducted by the Spaniard.

Alvaro Bautista, Ducati MotoGP test, Misano 2023. - Ducati

Alvaro Bautista will race the 2023 MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix aboard a Ducati Desmosedici GP23. 

Bautista will head to Malaysia for the first time since 2018 later this year to race his first Grand Prix in almost as long.

The announcement of his Malaysian wildcard comes after two tests have been conducted by him and the Ducati MotoGP test team, which will be branded in the same colours as Bautista’s WorldSBK Ducati Panigale V4 R, at Misano over the past few months.

In recent WorldSBK rounds, Bautista had been losing points to Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu, but his lead is now 74 points with four rounds to go after the Turk crashed due to a rear tyre deflation in Race 2 at the most recent WorldSBK round at Most, Czech Republic.

The position of the Malaysian Grand Prix in the calendar is also important, as it comes after the conclusion of the WorldSBK season, so the title will be decided by the time Bautista arrives in Malaysia, and he will not have to worry about the implications on his title bid of any distractions or injuries.
Alvaro Bautista said: "I'm really happy to be able to race in MotoGP as a wildcard at Sepang, a track that I really like and that I'm happy to be back at since it's not on the WorldSBK calendar. 

“The tests with the Ducati Desmosedici GP gave positive feedback: the feeling was good, and I had fun. I want to sincerely thank Ducati and because, without them, it would have been impossible to have this opportunity. At the same time, I would like to say that this MotoGP race will be a bonus for me and not a priority. 

“That's why we must stay focused on the WorldSBK Championship, which is the only thing that matters now. I want to stay focused for this last part of the season, which will be very demanding, with many races in a short time. 

“The feeling with the Panigale V4R machine is good, and I hope to continue on this path. Then, when the season ends, we'll think about going to Malaysia and having fun. Now I'll have a little holiday, and then we'll be back at Magny-Cours."

The 2023 MotoGP World Championship continues next weekend on 18-20 August with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring. For WorldSBK, the next round is in Magny-Cours, France, on 8-10 September.

Ducati Monster SP (2023) track review - Silverstone GP circuit on the Monster SP

Ducati Monster SP (2023) track review - Silverstone GP circuit on the Monster SP