Alvaro Bautista made an impact on what could be his first and last factory Ducati appearance, running as high as second in Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.

Drafted in from the Angel Nieto Team to replace the injured Jorge Lorenzo, who hopes to return next weekend at Sepang, Bautista was best of the rest behind race winner Maverick Vinales during the middle stages of the 27-laps.

The Spaniard, who will switch to World Superbike as an official Ducati rider in 2019, went on to finish one place and 2.2s behind team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who completed the rostrum in third.

"I'm not really surprised because I've known Alvaro for a long time and I think his riding style, he is one of the top riders," Dovizioso said. "I think he showed from when he raced in 250 and every MotoGP championship that he is one of the top riders about that.

"So with a good bike and a good base he just had to ride in a good track for him, because I think he's really good in a track where the consumption of the rear tyre is very high and in the long corners. So the result was that.

"I'm not too surprised and I'm happy for him and the team, because we took important points today."

 

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