Alvaro Bautista's impressive Silverstone form carried over to day one of the Dutch MotoGP at Assen, which he finished in a close fourth place.

Sixth in the morning session, the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider closed to within 0.142s of afternoon leader Ben Spies. The Spaniard is now targeting further set-up progress in Friday's final practice and qualifying.

"It has been a positive first day, which was important for me because this is my first time here with this bike and I don't have great memories of this track in MotoGP," said the British GP pole sitter.

"It was like riding a completely new circuit for me this morning and we also had a setting in the bike that I didn't like so much, so in the afternoon we went back a step with the setting and tried the harder tyre.

"We had to work on the bike a little bit because it was moving around in corner exit and we also made some improvements to the handling. We have work to do but I am happy with the start we made today."

Team manager Fausto Gresini is now certain that Bautista's Silverstone showing, which ended in a career best fourth place, was no one-off.

"The first day was proof that Alvaro has a great feeling with the bike," he said. "We took a major step forward in the Barcelona test that was confirmed with the performance at Silverstone and today was another example.

"Alvaro is fast and consistent now and the determination he is showing, along with the guys in the team, is a source of great satisfaction for me. When things are working like this it makes life much easier."


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