Bautista ‘calm and focused’, Rinaldi out for WorldSBK title

| | WorldSBK
Picture: Aruba Ducati

Aruba.it Ducati’s WorldSBK Champion Alvaro Bautista unveiled his number one plated Panigale V4R on Monday.

The unique experience of a double MotoGP and WorldSBK season launch was formulated as much of a celebration of the 2022 double Ducati World Championship success as it was a peek into the immediate future thanks to the glitzy launch, high in the Italian Dolomite mountains.

The Aruba duo of Bautista and continuing teammate Michael Rinaldi were not there for long - as they prepare for the Jerez WorldSBK tests which will take place between 25 and 26 January - however there was time for a quick chat with the media before they departed.

“This is my third year with a factory Ducati, and I have been close to the top many times,” Rinaldi said when asked about what he would personally like to see in 2023. “I have some wins but I have never really fought for the title.

“The goal is to fight for the title this year. I want that.

“I have change a lot my preparation of the new season. Now I am in really good shape and I cannot wait to jump on the bike in the test. Fourth in the championship is not enough for me. I am not happy for that when the championship ends.

“It will not be easy as the championship level is really high, but I think I have the cards to win races and if I miss the championship it is just because I need to improve something on myself,” he continued. “The bike is competitive to fight for the title and it is me. I have to look in the mirror and the only one who can make this happen is me, and the only one who can f*** this is me.”

Bautista, sporting the number one lettering in the same style as the ‘1’ on his previous ’19’ plate, said of the latest task of staying ahead of Razgatlioglu and Rea in 2023, as he did in 2022, “I work more or less in the same way as I have been working in the last few years. Sure, everybody can improve themselves. I have tried to work, especially in my mentality side, with focus and being calm. So I work more in this area that same way that I was working in the last few years.

“I don’t know what the other riders work on during the winter but it is not my problem,” he admitted. “I am just focusing on myself and trying to improve myself. I will try to be a better rider than last season. Last season worked really, really well, but I know that I made some mistakes, maybe some of them you can see, but some others you cannot. But I try to improve in those areas that last season I struggled more.”

Picture: Aruba Ducati
Picture: Aruba Ducati