Andrea Iannone used the superior top speed of his Ducati to good effect as the Italian finished his final race on the Desmosedici G16 on the podium at Valencia.
Iannone, who made his return from injury at Sepang in Malaysia in the previous race, will move to Suzuki for 2017 and 2018 with Jorge Lorenzo joining the factory Ducati team alongside Andrea Dovizioso.
The 27-year-old became embroiled in a battle for third place with Valentino Rossi and eventually got the better of the Movistar Yamaha rider to seal the final spot on the rostrum in Spain.
“I am very happy for this last race because I fight a lot from the beginning. I started very well and arrived at the first corner in the second position. I tried to follow Jorge but he had incredible pace,” said Iannone.
“I tried my best always in every lap and I am very happy, because the feeling with the bike from Friday is very bad and I didn't believe the bike was possible to improve a lot.
“I think with a great work this result is possible and I'm very happy because I put 100 per-cent for the race and had a great battle with Marc [Marquez] and also with Vale. Everything is difficult but I put all of me into this race.”
Dovizioso said his strategy was to hit back as soon as possible after being passed by Rossi as he tried to use the top speed of the GP16 to open a cushion.
“I tried to overtake Vale when he overtook me and the bike helped me a lot on the straight because it has more power and I think this is a good strategy. We had a great battle and this is a great result because it is my last race with my team, with Ducati and I have closed with this result,” he said.
“In this track I think it is very difficult to overtake but my bike today helped me a lot because I have very strong speed and strong power on the straight. From Friday, I had a lot of difficulty in the corners because for me with my bike it is very difficult to have high speed in the corner. But in the other way we have a good acceleration and good stability on the brakes and good power on the straight, which I think makes it a little more easy.”
Iannone was asked in the post-race press conference to rate his performance out of ten this season and admitted he had made too many mistakes throughout the course of 2016.
“Six – like when I go at school! I made mistakes this year a lot but also happy because always I try my best.”