Bautista to replace Lorenzo at Phillip Island

Alvaro Bautista pic:

Alvaro Bautista will take the place of Jorge Lorenzo on a factory Ducati at this coming weekend’s Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Lorenzo has pulled out of the third-last round of the 2018 MotoGP season due to the wrist fracture he sustained in Thailand just over a fortnight ago.

He took no further part in the Thai MotoGP after the crash in Free Practice 2, and completed only two practice laps on the weekend just passed in Japan.

Both the Angel Nieto Team, a satellite Ducati outfit, and the factory Ducati Team itself have now announced that Bautista will stand in for his Spanish compatriot.

“I want to thank Angel Nieto Team, (team owner) Jorge Martínez ‘Aspar’ and all his crew, because they let me compete with the official Ducati team in the Australian Grand Prix,” said Bautista.

“I also want to thank Ducati for the opportunity to work with them in their box.

“It will be a weekend in which I will try to learn and work as best I can, with no objective in mind.

“It is an illusion to be able to compete with a factory, and to do it with Ducati is a dream come true.”

Bautista is in fact due to race a factory Ducati next year when he switches to the Superbike World Championship.

He is currently 12th in the championship after finishing fifth in the Japanese MotoGP.

Meanwhile, Ducati has advised that Lorenzo is on his way home in an attempt to recuperate for the Malaysian MotoGP, which takes place a week after the Australian MotoGP.

There is no word yet on who will fill the vacancy which has opened up at Nieto at Phillip Island.

MotoGP Free Practice 1 at the Victorian circuit starts on Friday at 1155 local time/AEDT.

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