Bautista to test Ducati MotoGP bike

Alvaro Bautista to test for Ducati MotoGP team at Jerez.
Bautista to test Ducati MotoGP bike

Fresh from making his Ducati World Superbike debut at Jerez, Alvaro Bautista will stay on and test the factory's MotoGP bike.

The Spaniard - who impressed by being second fastest to Jonathan Rea during Monday's Panigale V4 debut, then posted the fourth best time on Tuesday's final day - has been called up to replace factory test rider Michele Pirro for the final MotoGP track action of the year on Wednesday and Thursday.

Pirro is recovering from shoulder surgery, a legacy of his huge practice accident at this year's Italian Grand Prix.

"Tomorrow I have a MotoGP test, so I will be busy during the next two days," said Bautista, a MotoGP rider for Suzuki, Gresini Honda, Aprilia and then Aspar Ducati from 2010-2018.

"Ducati asked me last week because they knew Michele was going to have surgery. So why not? You never know what can happen in the future, so let's test."

Bautista made an instant impact when he rode for the factory team as a replacement for the injured Jorge Lorenzo at Phillip Island last month, fighting at the front of the field, but played down a repeat of those heroics at Jerez.

"This will be different because we have to test special items. It's not like, 'here is the bike, full gas'. You have to test this, this, this... So it's more boring, but in any case it's always good to ride a MotoGP bike."

Other test riders expected on track at Jerez are Bradley Smith (Aprilia), Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki) and Stefan Bradl (Honda).

But Jonas Folger, who made his Yamaha test team debut at Valencia, will miss Jerez and return for Sepang in February, when Dani Pedrosa is tipped to make his KTM debut.

Pirro will also aim to return in Malaysia.