Bautista to test for MotoGP but no Bayliss wildcard repeat
By Ian Parkes
Monday 12th June, 2023 - 9:03pm
Reigning World Superbike champion Alvaro Bautista will take part in a two-day test on a MotoGP bike next week.
Bautista is firmly on course to repeat his title success as he is currently dominating this season, scoring 14 wins from 15 races across the five rounds to date.
The 38-year-old from Spain is taking advantage of a three-week break in the WSBK schedule to conduct the test on June 20-21 at Misano where he won all three WSBK races earlier this month.
The Ducati rider will swap his Pangiale V4 R for the Desmosedici GP machine, which he is effectively viewing as a reward for last year’s title triumph.
Speaking in a recent interview, Bautista dismissed the prospect of following in the footsteps of legendary Australian rider Troy Bayliss and racing as a wildcard in MotoGP.
In 2006, Bayliss, a three-time WSBK champion with Ducati rode for the manufacturer in the final round of the MotoGP season in Valencia, winning the race by 1.319s to team-mate on the day, Loris Capirossi.
With Bautista cruising to this year’s WSBK crown, there is a possible opportunity for him to skip a round later in the year and ride in Moto GP.
But in a recent interview with the WSBK website, he said: “After I won the world championship in WorldSBK, I asked Ducati to have a test with the MotoGP bike because, from the outside, it seems like a really fun bike.
“(But) I don’t do the test with the intention to do a wildcard. I’d like to do the test and let’s see what happens.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of chance to repeat what Troy Bayliss did in 2006. It was another time and it was different.
“At the moment, in my mind, it’s only the World Superbike Championship. I just take the test like a prize and don’t think about Troy Bayliss.”
— WorldSBK (@WorldSBK) June 12, 2023