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Bautista: Next objective is the podium
26 June 2012
After sealing his first MotoGP pole and a career best fourth in the British Grand Prix, Alvaro Bautista's next target is a first premier-class rostrum.
But the Spaniard, who switched to the San Carlo Honda Gresini team after spending his first MotoGP years with Suzuki, warned they become 'obsessed' with chasing the champagne and must let it come naturally.
After three sixth places in the opening five rounds, Bautista stepped up a gear after getting the chance to experiment with set-up and Showa suspension options during the post-Catalunya tests.
“Silverstone was definitely a very positive weekend for us. After the changes we made in Barcelona my feeling with the bike improved a lot and at Silverstone we were able to confirm it,” he said.
Bautista held third place for the first half of the British Grand Prix, before being passed by factory RCV rider Dani Pedrosa. Bautista crossed the line five seconds from winner Jorge Lorenzo and less than 1.5s from Pedrosa.
“I felt comfortable and safe on the bike from the start and I was able to have fun, which showed through with the pole position on Saturday and in the fact I ran with the front group throughout the race on Sunday.
“It was an important race for me and I was able to learn a lot from running with them. It was a very significant fourth place because it is my best result in MotoGP and it was a nice reward for the team.
“At Assen I will try to confirm my good form from Silverstone, run with the front pack again and continue making progress.
“The next objective is obviously the podium but we can't become obsessed with chasing it because I am sure that if we continue working as we are then sooner or later it will come.”
Team principal Fausto Gresini certainly wouldn't be surprised to see Bautista join only Tech 3's Andrea Dovizioso as a satellite rider to stand on the 2012 podium, feeling 'anything is possible'.
“After his splendid pole position on Saturday Alvaro was able to run with the front group throughout the race so the goal for Assen is to prove that was no fluke,” said Gresini.
“We know anything is possible because Honda have provided us with a great motorcycle and the work being done by Showa is allowing Alvaro great confidence with the RC213V in wet or dry conditions.
“After Barcelona and Aragon we have made significant progress and there will be no shortage of determination to continue working in this way.”
Bautista will start the Assen weekend equal with Ducati's Valentino Rossi for sixth in the championship and just eight points behind Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3) in fourth.
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