The next MotoGP round at Phillip Island will see Alvaro Bautista replacing the injured Jorge Lorenzo.
With Lorenzo out for recovery, Bautista was called in to ride the Ducati Desmosedici GP18 in Australia this weekend.
This will be Bautista’s final races in MotoGP before joining the Ducati factory squad in WorldSBK come 2019.
The 2018 MotoGP season just began its three flyaway races where Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda claimed his seventh world championship title in Motegi, Japan last weekend. As the paddock scrambled to get things ready for Australian round happening this weekend at Phillip Island, Ducati announced that Alvaro Bautista will be stepping in for the injured Jorge Lorenzo in the next race.
Following a massive highside suffered by Lorenzo during one the Free Practise sessions back in Thailand earlier this month, the 31-year-old Spaniard rider thought that he could be fit enough to race in Japan this past weekend. With a broken wrist, the injury is said to be worse than expected as the pain was too unbearable upon jumping back on the bike for the first outing session at Motegi.
According to Lorenzo himself, “The risk to displace the broken bone is part of the problem. It feels very bad on braking because my body and my brain doesn’t allow me to push my wrist in corner entry and it even makes me feel unsafe on the bike. It’s a shame because I felt like I had a good chance to win here.”
Lorenzo is said to be back in Europe to recuperate in time for the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix round in Malaysia happening from 2 to 4 November 2018 (which is only 10 days away). The Ducati factory squad has announced Alvaro Bautista from the Angel Nieto to team as his replacement for the next round at Phillip Island, Australia.
Alvaro Bautista has his eyes set on impressing the Ducati bosses on the latest Ducati Desmosedici GP18 machinery where 2018 will be his final MotoGP season before making his move to WorldSBK next season. Bautista will be one of the first riders to race the all-new Ducati Panigale V4 in competition together with Ducati’s star rider in WorldSBK, Chaz Davies.
Image credit: MotoGP