Bautista the only rider who can beat Rea - Fogarty

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Bautista the only rider who can beat Rea - Fogarty
Jamie Klein
By: Jamie Klein
Co-author: Sebastian Fränzschky
Dec 19, 2018, 10:38 AM

MotoGP convert Alvaro Bautista is the only rider who can hope to beat Jonathan Rea in World Superbike next season, believes four-time series champion Carl Fogarty.

After losing his place on the MotoGP grid for 2019, Bautista was signed by Ducati to replace Marco Melandri alongside Chaz Davies and tested the new V4 R machine for the first time in Jerez last month.

The Spanish veteran was the quickest Ducati rider on both days of the post-season test at the Spanish track, and was second-fastest behind Rea on the opening day.

Fogarty, whose four WSBK titles were all won on Ducati machinery, believes Bautista represents the best chance to break Kawasaki rider Rea's stranglehold on the championship.

Rea scored his fourth successive title this year, matching Fogarty's tally, and also surpassed his all-time win tally of 59.

"The V4 is very exciting for Ducati," Fogarty told Motorsport.com during an event at the Dainese Store in London. "Everybody wants to see if they can challenge Jonathan and Kawasaki next year.

"Bautista is the only guy who can take the title from Jonathan. He is stronger than Chaz. I don’t know if Bautista is strong enough to win the championship, but he is stronger than Chaz."

Alvaro Bautista, Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team

Alvaro Bautista, Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

The V2 Panigale was the first model in Ducati's WSBK history not to win a title, something Fogarty holds the Italian manufacturer's riders responsible for.

"The riders weren’t good enough for me," he said. "The bike was good enough to win, but not the riders.

"Chaz rode very well one year, he won the last six races three years ago. But he made too many mistakes in the first part of the year. Too many crashes.

"It's a shame. The bike for me was good enough to win the world championship in the last three years. The have not been consistent and fast enough at every race."

When it was put to him that Davies felt the V2 wasn't consistent enough to beat Kawasaki, Fogarty replied: "That’s down to them to get the package consistent. They have been on it enough years.

"In the first year I can understand, but in the second year you should be consistent. In the third year you should be even more consistent."

More WSBK news:

Chaz Davies, Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team

Chaz Davies, Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

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