Alvaro Bautista has poured petrol on the flames of the rumour he may make a shock return to the MotoGP paddock with KTM, saying he has not signed a deal with Honda for WorldSBK 2020.
Everyone and his dog believed the little Spaniard had taken a big-money deal to switch to HRC from Ducati in 2020 but at Portimao he denied that, saying Honda only made him an offer.
If you listen to Ducati management his reason for leaving the Bologna operation was purely an economic one. “It is not correct, no” said Bautista. “You have to find something that motivates you and for sure this project motivated me, but my future is a good opportunity also for me where I will race next season.”
He did not, however, confirm that it will be with Honda.
“But who says that I will race with Honda? I know, everybody says it! But I never said that I go with Honda. They offered me, they pushed for a new project with them, but I did not say that I would race with them.”
When pushed and asked directly if he had not signed with Honda, Bautista said, “No, no, no, no.”
When asked if he had signed with anyone, he stated, “I sign with my future but I cannot say where.”
Why is it such a big secret?
“I don’t have to make that step, if you know what I mean” he replied.
When then asked if he would remain in Superbike or not, he grinned and stayed silent, then finally said, “There are some possibilities.”
Jonathan Rea had earlier said that he did not understand Bautista’s choice to leave Ducati after 11 early victories in a row, as a rookie in the class, to which Bautista said: “Sometimes in life you have to take decisions. It is the same as last season when I decided to come here to this championship that I had never been in before, I decided to change.
:I like the challenge and I did not make a crazy choice for next season. I will explain when there is, officially, everything. I hope soon. I think next week, it could be, I hope before Magny. If not, in Magny Cours I tell you.”