Alvaro Bautista is confident of fighting for another top ten finish during his - and the Angel Nieto Team's - final MotoGP appearance in front of the Aragon fans.

However, he is also conscious that the gap between the top factory and satellite riders is growing due to ongoing developments by the official teams.

But having turned around a difficult start to the season with radical setup changes from Jerez, Bautista has finished as the top GP17 rider in every race since Mugello.

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“We have another home race and we are really looking forward to it because we are on a good of form, which is allowing us to finish consistently in the top ten," he said of Aragon.

"Also I have good memories from Aragón, having raced in the front group from the start there last year. It is a circuit with every kind of corner and elevation change and that makes it hard to find a balanced set-up.

"We are very motivated for this race because, even though the gap to the front is widening as the factory teams continue to make improvements, I am confident that the support of the Spanish crowd can push us on to another good result that set us up for the flyaway races.”

The closest Bautista has finished to victory this season is 5.2s, on his way to fifth, at Sachsenring.

Although too far back to challenge Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) and Johann Zarco (Tech3 Yamaha) for top Independent rider in the world championship, Bautista is now ahead of fellow GP17 riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat and within reach of a top ten finish in the final championship standings.

Bautista will switch to World Superbike with the official Ducati team next season, when the Angel Nieto squad hands its grid places to the new Sepang Yamaha Team.

Meanwhile, team-mate Karel Abraham will remain in MotoGP after signing a deal with Avintia. The Czech rider, who has a two-year-old GP16 machine, approaches Aragon seeking his first points since Catalunya.

“We have to go to Aragon with our chins up, ready to fight again," he said. "We’ll be going there to fight for a point. If it can be more then great, but we’ll prepare hard for that one. Aragon is a nice track with some fast corners that suit me really well and I’m looking forward to getting there.”



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