Alvaro Bautista will rejoin Ducati’s factory MotoGP line-up for this week’s two-day Jerez test.
Bautista has moved across to Ducati’s World Superbike project after losing his seat with the satellite Nieto Ducati team in MotoGP, getting his first experience of the marque’s new Panigale V4 R at Jerez on Monday.
He previously made a lone race outing in factory Ducati colours at Phillip Island in place of the injured Jorge Lorenzo, and secured his best result of the 2018 campaign by finishing fourth.
Now he has been named on the entry list for this week’s post-season Jerez test, which begins on Wednesday, alongside factory Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci.
He in effect replaces Michele Pirro in the Ducati stable, as the test rider opted to bring forward surgery on his shoulder after suffering pain during last week’s first post-season running at Valencia. The operation is related to the horrific crash Pirro suffered at Mugello in June.
Three other test riders will be in action at Jerez: Bradley Smith (Aprilia, pictured above), Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki) and Stefan Bradl, who will be run by the Honda test team and not the LCR squad as he was at Valencia.
Jonas Folger, who made his first outing as Yamaha’s test rider at Valencia, is sitting out the Jerez test and is expected return to action next year in the first official running of the year at Sepang.