Alvaro Bautista says he cannot wait to put the Italian Grand Prix firmly behind him after a difficult weekend saw him struggle for pace throughout.

Hampered by crashes in each of the three practice sessions, Bautista began the Mugello race as the lowest-placed MotoGP rider on the grid, a status he would have likely maintained during the race had Ben Spies not been struggling with a debilitating sickness bug.

Nonetheless, Bautista garnered some air-time with his feisty defence of ninth place from a recovering Casey Stoner, a battle that ended contentiously on lap 17 when the reigning champion made robust contact during his decisive pass.

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Soldiering on to finish a fairly lonely tenth, Bautista admits he was 'not happy' with his pace, particularly on San Carlo Gresini Honda's home soil.

"Thank goodness this weekend is over because from the first moment I struggled to get confident with the bike here," he said. "It is strange because at all the other circuits we've been to so far we have been close to the guys at the front, but here we have been unable to get on the pace.

"It has got to be down to the fact that we usually use the soft tyre and here we were forced to use the hard tyre for the race. We had to work around this and it made everything difficult for us, as did the three crashes and the brake problem. In the race I didn't have feel or grip at the rear.

"We made it to the end but I'm not happy. I just hope that in the next race we are not forced to make this choice and are able to work with the soft tyre because it suits our set-up and my riding style.

"I want to thank the team because they have worked so hard all weekend and I am disappointed for them and the sponsors here at their home Grand Prix."