Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista feels a lack of aggression in the early stages of the MotoGP race at Jerez may have cost him the chance of a higher finish.

Bautista took sixth place on the satellite Honda RC213V, an improvement of one position on his seventh place finish in round one of the championship in Qatar.

Competing in his 150th Grand Prix race, Bautista admitted the need to exercise caution on the opening laps of the race but concedes he may have been 'too careful', allowing the leaders to open up an unassailable advantage.

"It has been a difficult weekend because of the weather but finally we got dry conditions for the race even though there were a few spots around," he said.

"It was really important to be patient over the opening laps but maybe I was too careful over the opening laps and I wasn't able to get involved in the battle at the very front.

"Once I got comfortable with the track conditions I was able to pass [Stefan] Bradl and [Nicky] Hayden but [Andrea] Dovizioso, [Dani] Pedrosa and [Cal] Crutchlow were too far ahead by then and I just had to defend the position I was in.

"We have gone one better than Qatar and improved our confidence with this bike, which are the main things we take away from the weekend. I want to thank the team for the great job they have done especially in such challenging conditions this weekend."

The team's CRT representative, Michele Pirro, was ruled out of the race with an electronic issue when he looked destined to finish in the points.

"Our dream melted like snow in the sunshine. I was on my way to my first MotoGP points when I ran out of luck and an electronic problem forced me to retire," he said.

"It is another teething problem for this new project but we have taken a step forward here and if we keep working as hard as we have been doing it won't be long before we achieve our goals.

"My guys have a lot of work to do but they have unbelievable commitment to our cause and I have the utmost faith that they can develop a bike that will allow me to be competitive."