Alvaro Bautista has revealed the feeling of being 'part of the family' offered up by Ducati was key to his decision to remain with the Aspar team for a second year in 2018, after a mainly positive season to date.

The former 125cc world champion has scored three top six finishes this year, with his exceptional run to fourth place in dry conditions in Argentina a standout moment. Those positive results have, however, come with a series of lows. Bautista has fallen out of five races.

Still, with his fine performances in testing and the early part of the season, the Spaniard attracted interest from several teams, including Aprilia and Marc VDS Honda, with regards to competing in ’18.

Yet it was his feeling with Ducati, and his current GP16 machine, that convinced him to stay in Aspar’s squad for another year, when he will compete with Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso’s year-old GP17.

“I had interest from Aprilia and also from Marc VDS,” he said at Brno. “At the end, this season I’m enjoying a lot with the bike. I feel a lot of support from Ducati, even if I’m not a factory rider.

“I feel like I’m part of the family of Ducati so at the end I like this team, I like this bike, so I decided to stay here. Sure, the other options had the positive and negative points. But on the balance, I prefer to stay here.”

Bautista currently sits eleventh in the MotoGP world championship, 23 points back of fellow Ducati man Danilo Petrucci (tenth). He finished the Austrian Grand Prix in eighth, his sixth top ten of the year.