"When you get into the hearts of Ducatisti, you know you're there forever."

Álvaro Bautista’s season can be summed up in just one word: victorious. From Aragón to Australia, the Spanish rider and his Panigale V4 R left their rivals with nothing but crumbs. And while Ducati returns to WorldSBK power and passes the milestone of 1000 championship podiums, Bautista becomes the third rider in history to boast a world championship title in both MotoGP and Superbike.

How does it feel to win a world championship with Ducati?

Winning a world championship is always very special, because there can be no greater acknowledgement of your work and effort. It is truly a dream come true. But to win with Ducati is even more special, because the brand is unlike any other and there’s so much passion and love for the bike. When you win, you immediately realise that your success will never be forgotten, and you really feel like a part of history.

How is your relationship with the Ducatisti?

They are incredible. Every time I won, they would write to me, almost as if they had won the races themselves! They express their passion in a very intense way and are over the moon when you win and distraught when you lose. This is a real responsibility for a rider. But you know that when you win, they will carry you in their hearts forever.

You always set out to win. But at what moment did you realise that you could really secure the title?

I came to Ducati with greater awareness and more experience this year. As I rider, I felt in the best shape of my career, both mentally and physically. I knew that, with this bike and with this team, I’d be able to give my very best. Three years ago, I was strong, but to win a championship you need to be the smartest and not just the fastest.

That’s what Gigi Dall’Igna said, that in 2019 you didn’t just want to win but to win hands down, while this year he could see that you had the right mentality right from round one.

This year I was able to effectively manage every race, because I set myself the goal of always achieving the maximum possible in any situation. It was tough because our rivals were very strong and made few mistakes, but we made even less. Winning the title was a consequence of this approach.

You and Ducati are now the ones to beat. What does it mean to compete as world champion?

Nothing. Every time you start a championship the previous season no longer counts. Everyone starts with zero points.

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