Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista consolidated fifth place in the MotoGP World Championship at the penultimate round following a gripping tussle with Andrea Dovizioso
and Stefan Bradl.
Bautista lost out to Dovizioso for fourth place, but sealed an important top-five finish at Phillip Island in Australia to hold a lead of eight points over Valentino Rossi
in the standings with one round remaining.
“We have achieved our objective here but I have to recognise that if it wasn't for the crash from Dani Pedrosa
I would have been sixth,” he said.
“I am disappointed for him because he has produced some extraordinary races recently but today he lost the championship on the second lap.
“This morning in the warm-up we could see that [Cal] Crutchlow had a better pace than us so when I saw Pedrosa crash I just tried my best to stick in the group behind [Jorge] Lorenzo in the hope we could fight for the podium but we were lacking straight-line speed,” added Bautista.
The Spanish rider was losing out on the long straight at Phillip Island and it was here the Dovizioso made the decisive pass to secure fourth.
“All the time I lost down the straight I had to make up for the rest of the lap but it was a fun battle with Dovizioso and Bradl, we passed each other many times and the race went quickly for me,” said Bautista.
“I made one last attempt at the end but again Dovizioso got me down the straight and then did a good job to close every door.
“Anyway it's a positive result so thanks to all the team and now let's hope we can seal fifth in the championship at Valencia.”