This weekend's Motegi round will mark the Gresini team's final Japanese MotoGP with home manufacturer Honda.

The Italian outfit, which has been officially supported by Honda in the premier-class since 2002, is to become the factory Aprilia team from next season.

The Gresini glory days from 2003 to 2006 might seem a distant memory, but Alvaro Bautista - who will continue at the squad for the Aprilia transition - has finished fourth and third for the team in the last two Motegi events.

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"Motegi is a very unique track: it's usually called a 'Honda' track because of its 'stop and go' layout, which requires good traction," said Bautista.

"Unfortunately, lately we're struggling with that, but we hope to continue to grow and to start in the best possible way the first of three races in a row: during the race at Aragon race we were fighting to get into the top five on both dry and wet condition, and this is a positive sign.

"The track does not particularly excite me, but in the last two years I've always been very strong there. I hope to be able to find quickly a good set-up that can allow me to be consistent, then we will give our best in the race."

Bautista's team-mate, Scott Redding, will continue with Honda next season having agreed a deal to ride a Factory class RC213V at Marc VDS. The British rookie's main goal will be to lead the Open class Honda challenge this weekend, having missed that target in the last two races.

"We are fresh from two difficult races, Misano and Aragon, but I think we have the potential to bounce back in the three flyaway races, starting from Motegi," said Redding. "Moreover, in the first half of the race at Aragon we were the top Production Racer Honda, then the arrival of the rain changed everything.

"I'm looking forward to go out on track at Motegi aboard a MotoGP bike and I hope to have a nice weekend, given that last year in Moto2 I had to race with an injured wrist and I was involved in a crash during the first lap of the race, losing my title hopes".