It’s currently the long WorldSBK summer break, which means that the superbike paddock has more than enough time to wheel and deal…and then of course gossip.
There are a number of rumors coming for 2020, but none of them are nearly as good as the talk about Alvaro Bautista jumping ship from Ducati, to the factory-backed Honda squad.
That news comes along with the rumor that Honda will have a new superbike for the 2020 model year, which is something we have seen speculated about for some time.
HRC’s actions in WorldSBK have all but confirmed the new model is coming, and of course Big Red is keen to come out swinging, after being a back-marker for so long.
As such, one can expect that their rider selection started with the top of the list, and that name of course was Alvaro Bautista.
There is perhaps a bit of chicken and the egg situation going on with Bautista’s results and this contract speculation, which may or may not have something to do with a ride in MotoGP that may or may not have been promised in exchange for a championship title.
Whatever the case may be, our sources tell us to expect Bautista to be in red next season…just not rosso corsa red. With Bautista to HRC, that leaves an empty hole in the Ducati Corse lineup, with few names to fill it.
Scott Redding is the name our sources are telling us, with the former Ducati MotoGP riders now making headlines in the British Superbike Championship, still on Ducati hardware.
The BSB-spec Ducati Panigale V4 R is quite different from the WorldSBK version of the machine, which doesn’t make the move an easy one for Redding, but the Brit is a known talent, and he is surely keen for a rise back to the world stage.
We can expect some more rider movements for next season as well, with Eugene Laverty tipped to a BMW ride alongside Tom Sykes, which could be a very interesting combination of riders, team, and machine…especially as the BMW S1000RR is beginning to impress in the superbike paddock.
As such, keep checking back to Asphalt & Rubber as more WorldSBK news susses out for next season.
Source: Bothan Spies