For the second race in succession, Alvaro Bautista and Suzuki were left wondering what might have been after the Spaniard again crashed out of a strong result.

At Motegi in Japan, Bautista had stumbled while pushing hard to defend a MotoGP best of fourth from a recovering Andrea Dovizioso.

At Phillip Island on Sunday he looked more than capable of claiming a career-best equalling fifth place ahead of Ducati's Nicky Hayden, only to be caught out by the late rain shower.

Related Articles

"After I got away from Nicky I tried to concentrate to get the most from the used tyre and do my best," explained Bautista, promoted to a front row start after the withdraw of Jorge Lorenzo. "I just had to finish the race to get a fifth place, which would have been a good result here.

"The conditions were difficult though because during the whole race it was raining in some parts of the track and each lap seemed different. In turn 10 I saw some drops of rain on the screen and before I could even think to react I crashed - the surface was very wet and I just couldn't do anything about it!

"I am sorry for the whole team because they did a fantastic job for the whole weekend and we started from the front row for the first time this year. We were in fifth in the race and looking good, so I'm really sorry for the crash - those guys deserved something from this weekend. We now have to look forward to the next race and take all the positives from here to Malaysia and I'm sure we can go well there."

Despite the disappointment, Bautista was at least able to show the amount of progress the GSV-R has made at what was previously the machine's worst circuit.

"There are so many positives to be taken from this weekend at Phillip Island, that it's really unfortunate to be making another 'if only' comment!" said team manager Paul Denning.

"?lvaro had no idea that it was raining that hard and with no rider directly in-front of him it just looked like he was in the wrong place at the wrong time!

"It's really unfortunate for all of us, but the promise shown by the GSV-R was huge and I think the race-pace potential could have been a lot better if we hadn't have got hung up with Nicky for four or five laps, and allowed the Hondas to escape.

"Malaysia's next, it's been a good track for Suzuki in the past, we've got John Hopkins joining the team and a chance to have another go at a decent result - we're looking forward to it!"

Bautista claimed his joint-best result of last season at Sepang, with fifth place.