Ducati Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti named Scott Redding as the first rider on the list to replace Alvaro Bautista when the little Spaniard leaves to take up a well-paid position with Honda in WorldSBK.
Rumours have been circulating this week that Bautista has accepted a big-money offer to join HRC in 2020 and Ciabatti all but confirmed it, saying he is looking at Redding as a replacement to ride alongside Chaz Davies.
“The negotations with Alvaro are at a stale point as we made an offer which, in our opinion, was good and for two years but eventually we think he has a better offer from another manufacturer,” said Ciabatti, speaking at the Red Bull Ring.
“I think we must move ahead and in a way we are very sorry. With Alvaro we started the season in a fantastic way with the V4. We still, potentially, could win the championship although it looks very difficult because of the advantage Jonathan Rea has.
“We have been following what Scott Redding has been doing in British Superbikes. He has won many races and is leading the championship, so I think he is first on the list.”