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Bautista to make MotoGP wildcard with Ducati at Sepang

Ducati has announced that World Superbike champion Alvaro Bautista will participate in the MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix as a wildcard rider.

alvaro-bautista-ducati-misano--1

Bautista will contest the Sepang event on a factory-supported Desmosedici GP22 in the colours of Aruba.it, the title sponsor of the works Ducati WSBK outfit, on 10-12 November.

It will mark the 38-year-old Spaniard's first grand prix appearance since the end of the 2018 season, the year before he made the switch to Superbikes with the Borgo Panigale marque.

Bautista has already undertaken two tests with the GP22 at Misano, but will race the GP23 in Malaysia.

Ducati agreed to hand Bautista a MotoGP outing as a reward for his championship success in WSBK last year, which marked the brand's first riders' title in more than a decade.

Bautista is thought to have pushed for the wildcard to take place at Sepang, one of his favourite tracks, rather than at the season finale at Valencia, which was Ducati's original preference for cost reasons.

"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 WSBK calendar," he said. "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 Aruba.it 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 WSBK 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."

Bautista is well on course to defend the WSBK crown he won last year, as he leads nearest championship rival Toprak Razgatlioglu by 74 points with four rounds remaining.

The Sepang race will take place two weeks after the WSBK season wraps up at Jerez.

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