Alvaro Bautista confirms Honda exit as Ducati beckons for 2022 WorldSBK

Alvaro Bautista to leave Team HRC Honda at the end of the 2021 season ahead of a much speculated return to the Ducati factory team for 2022 WorldSBK

Alvaro Bautista - HRC Honda CBR1000RR-R 1200

Alvaro Bautista will leave the Team HRC Honda project at the end of the 2022 WorldSBK Championship, it has been confirmed.

Bautista is expected to be confirmed imminently for a return to Ducati - with whom he made a spectacular WorldSBK debut in 2019 - to replace the BMW-bound Scott Redding.

His exit from Honda will bring to a close a disappointing chapter that promised much but delivered precious few notable results.

The Spaniard joined Honda at the start of the 2020 WorldSBK season as it’s high profile signing to lead a fresh full factory project with the new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and utilising the same outfit behind its MotoGP titles.

However, only moderate development progress in two seasons despite the huge budget behind both the team and his contract has led to Bautista becoming disillusioned with the project.

Instead, he will return to Ducati in 2019, where he will look to rediscover the form that led to 11 wins in a row from his debut en route to the runners-up spot behind Jonathan Rea.

“At the end of 2021, our collaboration with Alvaro Bautista will draw to a close," commented Team HRC President Shinya Wakabayashi. "The last two years have been intense, characterised by the unexpected and imposing challenges posed by the global pandemic and by the significant work involved in a fledgling project like ours. 

“Two seasons in which the spirit has always been constructive and collaborative. We would therefore like to thank Alvaro and wish him the very best for the future.”