Scott Redding Replaces Alvaro Bautista In Ducati WorldSBK Team For 2020

It had been known unofficially for weeks, but today, the Ducati team announced that they have signed Scott Redding to ride for them in WorldSBK for the 2020 season. Redding has had a very strong season in BSB since losing his ride in MotoGP with Aprilia, and is currently second in the standings behind Be Wiser Ducati teammate Josh Brookes.

It comes as no surprise that Redding is off to WorldSBK. The Englishman had expressed an interest in returning to world championship racing, having first been linked with the Shaun Muir Racing BMW effort. That option faltered over contractual difficulties getting Redding out of the second year of his BSB deal, but a switch to a Ducati team was easier to negotiate.

Redding's signing was made possible by the fact that Alvaro Bautista and Ducati had failed to come to an agreement over money. Talks had initially gone in Bautista's favor at the start of the season, when he won the first 8 races and 3 Superpole races in a row. But his spectacular decline since Imola, winning only one race since then and turning a 61-point lead into an 81-point deficit, severely weakened his hand.

Where Bautista ends up now is still uncertain. Reliable reports have the Spaniard under contract to HRC to race for the factory Honda team in WorldSBK. But there are doubts that this will happen: HRC is believed to be considering pulling out of WorldSBK and letting the Moriwaki Althea team run the show. 

That leaves Bautista with an intriguing option. If the Spaniard does not get a job in WorldSBK, KTM may consider him as a replacement for Johann Zarco in the factory Red Bull KTM team in MotoGP. Given Bautista's experience with multiple manufacturers - he has ridden a Suzuki, a Honda, a Ducati, and an Aprilia in MotoGP - his input could be invaluable in helping to develop the bike.

Below is the official press release from Ducati on the signing of Redding:

Confirmed line-up for the Racing – Ducati team for 2020: Scott Redding to join up with Chaz Davies on the factory Panigale V4 R in the Superbike World Championship

Scott Redding is all set to partner Chaz Davies in the 2020 Superbike World Championship on the factory Ducati Panigale V4 R of the Italian team.

The 26-year-old British rider from Quedgeley (Gloucestershire), who this year is taking part in the BSB (British Superbike Championship), where so far this season he has taken six wins and five pole positions and is in second place in the overall standings with the Be Wiser Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R, will be making his debut in the production-based championship in 2020 after a five-year presence in MotoGP and one year in BSB.

Scott Redding will join up with the already confirmed Chaz Davies, who next year will be embarking on his seventh successive season on a Ducati, thus forming a very strong all-British rider formation.

Scott Redding: “I’m so happy to join the Racing - Ducati team, which is something that I’ve wanted for a long time, because to be able to work with a team that can fight for a world title is really a great opportunity for me. Obviously now I have to remain fully focussed on the British Superbike Championship, because I want to try and win that title with the Be Wiser Ducati before stepping back up to a world championship again. A big thanks to all those people who have helped to make this dream happen, and now I can’t wait to get on the factory Panigale V4 R bike in the World Superbike Championship.”

Stefano Cecconi ( Racing – Ducati Team Principal): “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Scott into our team. Despite being a rookie in BSB, on his first experience with the Panigale V4 R and with numerous tracks he has never seen before, Scott has proved to be fast right out of the box and to be able to aim straight for the title. For this reason, we have been following him with interest and we were impressed with his form even before having to look for a team-mate for Chaz in the coming seasons. With his determination and experience, I’m convinced he will be quick right from the start, even on a WSBK-spec bike. I wish to fondly bid goodbye to Álvaro and thank him for the incredible emotions that he has given us this year, he will surely be a difficult adversary to beat! Now however we must focus on the current season: we no longer have an advantage, but the world title battle is still open and we will give our maximum commitment to conclude our collaboration in the best possible way.”

Álvaro Bautista’s adventure with the Racing – Ducati team thus comes to an end on the 26th October at the Losail circuit in Qatar. With four rounds still to be held (Portugal, France, Argentina and Qatar), the 34-year-old Spanish rider, who made his Superbike debut this year with the all-new Panigale V4 R, currently lies second in the championship with 352 points and has so far won 14 races, taking the Bologna bike to victory in its and his debut race at Phillip Island and then adding the next ten races to his victory tally.

The Racing – Ducati team will, as always, make the greatest effort to score the best possible results together with Álvaro right until the end of the season, and thanks him for his great commitment, all the while wishing him all the best for his racing future.


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This is the silliest of silly seasons.  The narritive changed from "Bautista has one hand on the championship trophy" to "Bautista may take the factory KTM seat left vacant by a despondent Zarco".   Good for Redding to shine in BSB and get on such a primo ride in WSBK.  

I fell off the wagon regarding this some months ago. In short and pardon my french but "what the hell happened?!" Why would Bautista walk away from such a strong team. crystal ball's in the shop but it looked to my eye that the V4 would have been an incredibly competitive package and with another year of data and development could possibly win WSBK next year. Why is Bautista walking away from that? Did he not like the bike? Do he and the team not get along? Does he not like WSBK? Was this a money grab? It just seems wild from my perspective. Anyone got any light to shead?

My reaction was the same disbelief when I first read the rumours and I suspected a slow news day during the summer break. But if the Honda deal comes to pass and includes a clause to return to MotoGP, it does make a lot of sense, at least from his point of view. He has always been very firm on his stance that he prefers MotoGP to anything else and while he certainly enjoys the success in WSBK, I think the desire to return there never left him, he likely feels that there is unfinished business after being forced out like that with other riders still having a ride that he was unwilling to pay for.

Added to that are some rumours which, if true, do add further points why it makes sense for him. First the promise of the brandnew machine and bigger effort from Honda which he might know way more about than we do and (maybe foolishly) puts all his hopes in after struggling with the same old Ducati front end issues all year (just because he was winning does not mean the bike was perfect) and second the supposed low-ball offer from Ducati which reportedly was not that much to begin with and considerably less than what Chaz is getting. Considering that the offer has allegedly been on the table since well before his championship lead turned to a deficit, I guess that did not look too appreciative to him. Honda on the other hand are very likely offering a substantial increase in salary and he is not getting younger while becoming a father soon as well. Lots of things to weigh on his mind I reckon.

It's hard to find the BSB races here in the states, but the ones I've come across it's great to see Scott riding at the front and enjoying it. I'm curious to see how he adapts from to the WSBK electronics, but it shouldn't be a big deal since he's ridden with them in MotoGP.

If Honda stays I'm more curious to see if they really roll out some heavy hardware for the new CBR1000RR. It seems like we've heard this story a few time in the past, and they simply ended up rolling out a barely new version of the previous underpowered bike.

Assumption is that Beautista preferred to be in MotoGP, and early form confirmed that. He set up a deal there, then put the ball in Ducati's court. Seat to Redding at much less salary, and expecting same or better results.

Alvaro back in the circus to do ok. Honda and a new 1000RR is interesting in WSBK. The BMW is going to have a real motor 2020. Engine tune is coming down. The Ducati has been shaken out at all the tracks and looks great. Things may be getting more interesting in Supers!

My guess is that once again Ducati management screwed around with a rider's contract. They have a history of dragging out and delaying signings. This may have been a slight distraction to Bautista and played a part in his loss of form. He may still end up in Motogp, whether it be with KTM or HRC. The word is that Bautista's manager is well regarded in the Motogp paddock. I highly doubt Alvaro would be without a ride next year unless he wanted it that way. His last words about a return to Motogp were that he would only go back for a factory supported ride.

In what is a generally farcical situation, is that we get to see more of Scott Redding in what we have reason to hope is a competitive outfit. He has always struck me as a cheerful, forthright and positive character. Given his BSB form I also think it more likely he will take it up to Mr Rea - whose dominance, for all its of admirable qualities, is, simply, rendering WSBK ' a patient etherised upon a table...'

At least nobody in Ducati racing needs to bother with this year's motor racing HR award nomination. Maybe this will leave a little more time to help Gigi with that turning problem?

Good news for Scott, who got shoved out of a MotoGP ride and like a number of riders before him took the opportunity to re-evaluate and prove his ability to just turn up and be competitive. BSB is close racing on a level playing field with well-matched machinery going head to head on specialist circuits, so to do what he has done proves that talent, ability and a strong professional approach will take you a long way. The only crack in his demeanour this year was his rant about being knocked off at Cadwell. Sh*t happens in racing, but his slightly over the top reaction was I guess just an insight into the drive and sheer bloody hard work that he has put into getting himself to the top of the championship. A grit that has at time even showed up cracks in Josh Brookes seemingly solid self-belief.

It will all shake out as it always does, but three are some intriguing questions. As already mentioned the KTM ride is an opening, but despite their difficulties in MotoGP KTM are committed and I’m pretty sure there is a healthy queue for the seat. I remain unconvinced about HRC's intentions in World supers, but all the whispers I have read, seem to indicate that’s where Bautista is headed.

What about Yamaha dropping Alex Lowes? GRT Yamaha seems a likely switch, but does he feel that Yamaha are doing him any favours if that happens? KRT? Or another choice? Whatever, I’m sure there will be teams who are more than happy to offer him a ride.

World superbike has been good racing this year and I wonder if some of the critics have actually watched any races this year. True MotoGP has the upper hand in promotion and spectacle, but some of those races have been somewhat processional at times as well and no one seems to complain that MM93 wins or goes second every time out, just like JR.

Every year there the interest in riders and machinery builds towards the next year and I often wonder what it must feel like to be in a job market that comes with very few guarantees from one year to the next. Where a contract seems to have very little value from either side. I’ve seen riders over the years who lose form until a contract is signed or who suddenly perform better if they need to sign for next year. It’s just another intriguing factor in the entertaining world of professional motorcycle racing.

about what happpened to Ducati and Bautista in WSBK considering they were so far ahead. And now they are that much behind!!! Any insights?

I won't go into why Bautista allowed a 61 pt advantage turn into a 81 PT deficit because I have no idea, not a racer, not in the WSBK paddock. Honestly I'm a bit surprised he got that advantage in the first place. There seemed to be a eagerness to judge him based on those first races and see him as a great professional bringing all these great practices and discipline from GP's when, in reality, he was never that good. Ok, he may have been better than some but there's a reason his career trajectory was downward ending with getting dumped by the perrenial backmarker Aprilia. The same could be said about Redding having had his shot with good machinery but never achieving consistent good results. Does a decent but hardly dominant (he is in second after all) partial season make for a great racer? He's hardly a proven top performer. To my recollection since hitting the top tier he has never outperformed his team mate. I don't think anyone should be surprised if he achieves mediocre results and is consistently outperformed by Davies. Miller said Ducati management have fond memories but I wonder if theit memories are actually short. 

Bautista joined the Aspar Team after Aprilia let both their riders go (and look how much better the bike is now, three years later... not) and immediately was competitive again. His MotoGP career did not end with Aprilia. And if current rumours are anything to go by, it will not end with Aspar either.

And I wonder what the description of "mediocre" or "not that good" for a rider who came to a new championship, new tyres, new tracks and dominated proceedings from the beginning is supposed to say about the rest of the grid in this championship. Do they know nothing about racing? As with Redding I find it a bit funny to shrug off championship Rookies as not good enough because they are currently "only" sitting second in their first year. While I agree with the assumption that Redding will likely not dominate next year and finish mostly behind Chaz, I still think slagging him or Bautista off is wrong.