SBK, Paolo Ciabatti: Bautista is Honda's, Ducati will aim for Redding

"We understand Alvaro's decision, we wanted him but not at any cost. This was his chance to sort himself out financially. Scott has been strong in BSB with the Panigale V4, but he has another offer too."


Ducati is under pressure in both its championships, but the problem isn't technical, rather human. The riders. While in SBK it has received a definitive no from Alvaro Bautista, who will race with Honda in next year's series, as we anticipated on Saturday 3 August, in MotoGP they are dealing with the Lorenzo affair.

This is why Paolo Ciabatti appears particularly busy in Austria.

"We wanted to keep him, but not at any cost - he explains, with regard to the renewal of Alvaro Bautista's contract - last week at Brnno we spoke with his manager who, understanding that we couldn't wait any longer and needed to take another path, told us to 'go ahead'. A clear sign that Alvaro has already signed with Honda".

Not exactly a bolt out of the blue, as there had already been many clues that pointed in this direction.

"Yes it's true, but we understand his point of view. Alvaro is almost 35, how much longer will he race for? Two seasons, maybe even four. If he's received an offer that means he's sorted financially, one that is 'lifechanging' as they say, then he's done well to accept it. We remain disappointed about a championship that we could have won. A pity...".

He threw it away. and now?

"I'm waiting for Gigi Dall'Igna to arrive to be able to formalise the offer for his replacement. We have no time to lose".

We're talking about Scott Redding, of course.

"Yes, Scott Redding. He already knows the Panigale V4, and he rides it without electronics, proving to have good sensitivity. In BSB, he's done well and has won races at track he didn't know. There is one problem though...".

The Ducati offer is not Scott's only offer.

"Exactly. I can't say who, but it's another Superbike manufacturer".

But with Ducati he might have the chance to return to MotoGP in the future. Speaking of which, did Alvaro have that clause in his contract in case of an SBK title win?

"Definitely not. It was an annual contract and that's it. No paragraph talking about that possibility in case of the title win".

Who knows, maybe it was this that tipped the balance in Honda's favour. Because contrary to what Simone Battistella, Alvaro Bautista's manager said, the Spaniard's aim was to try and return to MotoGP.

It's a pity that this was out of the question for Ducati. And the current situation with Lorenzo tells us why. Stay tuned as, after the latest confirmation from Jack Miller that negotiations are in progress with Jorge, anything could happen.


Translated by Heather Watson

Related articles