As expected, Alvaro Bautista is to remain with the Gresini Honda team - meaning that the four seats each available at Honda, Yamaha and Ducati are now all occupied for the 2013 MotoGP season.

Bautista joined Gresini after spending his first two premier-class seasons at Suzuki. The 27-year-old Spaniard has claimed his first pole and podium so far this year and is currently joint-sixth in the World Championship.

"I am very happy to continue with Gresini Racing, because from day one I knew that being part of this Team would feel like being home," said Bautista. "It is a great team and I am happy to continue with them; even when we have had difficulties this year, we have worked so hard together and I get on so well with everyone here.

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"We will get to know one another even better next year and we can be even more competitive. I thank the team for the faith that they have shown in me and I hope that we can improve our results for the end of the current season."

Team principal Fausto Gresini added: "I am happy and proud to announce that today we have finally reached an agreement with Alvaro for the 2013 season - a source of great satisfaction for me.

"I believe in long term projects and I think that Alvaro still has plenty of potential. I am convinced that he will provide us with much further excitement with some great results. I think that for him we are like family and this feeling can take us very far."

Bautista's seat had previously been linked with the likes of Ben Spies, Jonathan Rea and Scott Redding. Spies and Rea have already signed elsewhere, while Redding is set to remain in Moto2.

The news also officially scuppers rumours that the Gresini RC213V could be passed to the LCR team.