Alvaro Bautista has concluded his third season in the MotoGP World Championship with fifth in the overall standings after clinging on to a fourth place finish on home soil at Valencia.
Bautista has been something of a revelation during the second-half of the season, the Spaniard picking up his maiden podiums at Misano and Motegi en route to overhauling Valentino Rossi and Cal Crutchlow for fifth in the standings.
Even so, though Bautista was pleased to hold on to an overall top five finish with his run to fourth in Spain, he was still frustrated with his performance, suggesting a lack of front-end feeling contributed to Casey Stoner passing him for third in the closing stages.
“That was definitely the most difficult race of the season,” he said. “On the warm-up lap I decided to come in and swap the bike for the other one with slick tyres on because I could see the track was drying.
“I tried to manage the situation as best I could out there and focus on our objective of making sure of fifth in the championship but I'm not happy with the performance because again I had no feeling on the front. But anyway the season is over now and I am happy with where we have finished and with the progress we have made over the course of the season.
Re-signing with Gresini Honda for 2013, Bautista thanked the team for helping him progress over the course of the season.
“Thanks to the team, Fausto Gresini and all the sponsors who have supported us,” he said. “Now we start looking towards 2013 and I am happy to be with the same team and all the guys who have worked so hard this year. We have a good base to work from and improve next year.”