WSB

Redding ‘first on list’ to replace Bautista at Ducati in WorldSBK

Scott Redding is on Ducati's radar as it reveals Alvaro Bautista is heading for 'another manufacturer' for the 2020 WorldSBK season

DUCATI is courting Scott Redding to join its factory Aruba.it Ducati team for the 2020 World Superbike Championship after revealing Alvaro Bautista has turned down its offer of a contract extension. 

Bautista’s Ducati future has been subject of much speculation in recent weeks after it became clear his hesitation to put pen to paper with the Italian outfit was because he had received a major offer from another manufacturer, understood to be Honda.

With Bautista seemingly missing a deadline to respond to Ducati, the firm has gone public with effectively confirming his exit.

“Unfortunately, the situation with Alvaro is we made an offer, which in our opinion was a good offer for two years but eventually we think he has a better offer from another manufacturer because in the end he didn’t accept it," confirmed Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti.

“I think we must move ahead and in a way we are very sorry be caused with  Alvaro we start in a fantastic way with the V4.”

Ducati wants Redding… because of the UK’s ‘peculiar’ circuits

Whilst Bautista’s ‘coolness’ on a new deal marks a surprising turnaround of events for Ducati, it’s alternative plan is still a very enticing one.

Scott Redding’s exploits in the British Superbike Championship have universally impressed, largely because he has done it arguably less forgiving surroundings. Indeed, Redding’s transition from the technology-laden MotoGP bikes to the electronics-free BSB Ducati has been notable not just for the victories he has already achieved, but the way it has seemingly brought out the best in his riding style.

Moreover, as Ducati points out, the ‘peculiar’ circuits he is winning on just serves to show is willingness to learn and adapt. 

“We have been following what Scott Redding has been doing in BSB, he has won many races and is leading the championship. BSB is run on very peculiar circuits so it is not so easy to be able to win on tracks like Thruxton or Snetterton, so I think he is first on the list.”

Will Scott Redding join Ducati WorldSBK?

Though the decision to split from the ‘cut copy’ WorldSBK rules means fewer BSB riders make the direct switch compared to a decade ago, a look at the most successful riders on the world stage – such  as Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes, Leon Haslam – demonstrates the respect Britain’s national series retains.

Moreover, Redding – who is known for his unfiltered and honest opinions – showed he is not afraid of butting horns with MSV based on his reaction to his Thruxton penalty, while PBM is losing its title sponsor Be Wiser for 2020 meaning it will need to bring in another big name willing to foot what is likely to be a sizeable wage bill.

Whilst Redding’s MotoGP to BSB swap raised eyebrows initially – and gave rise to some cynical dismissals – the ‘experiment’ has already paid off. Even if he doesn’t go on to win the title, it’s likely Redding on a factory Ducati in WorldSBK would make a potent combination.

Then again, Redding does say he is enjoying sleeping in his own bed on Sunday nights and he does ‘f***ing hate electronics…’ 

Time will tell.

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