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Bautista reflects on great race and explains decision to stay in 250cc

Bautista reflects on great race and explains decision to stay in 250cc

After staging one of his `trademark´ comebacks last weekend at Misano, Alvaro Bautista now has three wins to his name in 2008 and an outside chance of the 250cc title.

The 250cc contest at the Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini produced one of the most exciting races of recent times in the category and concluded with Alvaro Bautista reminding his opponents that he may still have a say in the quarter litre class title fight.

Getting away from eleventh on the grid the Mapfre Aspar rider fought his way through the pack in an incident-filled race to secure his third victory of the season and put himself within 27 points of standings leader Marco Simoncelli - with five rounds remaining.

`I think it was one of the hardest battles of my career,´ admitted Bautista, reflecting on the Misano win. `I started way back from the front and in practice and qualifying things weren´t good. We had a lot of problems with the set-up, I felt uncomfortable on the bike and I knew it was going to be a really hard race.´

Coming from behind, as he had done in Czech Republic at the previous round where he went from tenth on the grid to finish second, Bautista took full advantage of a number of crashes in front of him and pushed through to the front when the battle between Hector Barbera and Marco Simoncelli provided him with the opportunity.

`I saw that everyone else was getting involved in little duels and that gave me the chance to catch them up. As the other riders were fighting each other I tired to get to the front and was setting the fastest pace that I could, so that if anyone made I mistake I´d be able to make the most of it. That was how it turned out, I came out on top, built up a gap and crossed the finish line comfortably in first place, so I´m very happy.´

Following an excellent series of six consecutive podiums Bautista now has class leader Simoncelli in his sights and sits third in the standings – just one point behind second-placed Mika Kallio.

`We are on a great run in the last few races which is a real contrast to the start of the season. Now we are climbing up the standings and there are five races left. It is going to be hard but we at least we are in the battle,´ stated the 23 year-old Aprilia man.

Bautista will concentrate on the season finale with his 2009 contract already agreed. The Spanish talent is set to stay with his current team in the 250cc category – dispelling widespread rumours of a move into MotoGP next year.

`Aspar is a great team and ever since I have been with them they have been like a family to me, which is so crucial. Everyone works hard and they are extremely focussed. I am happy with our performance levels and that was the key to my decision to stay in 250cc. I believe we were just unlucky at the beginning of the season and next year we will have learned from any mistakes we made. Most importantly I think I will be a better rider next year,´ stated Bautista.

`I had offers to go up into MotoGP or to move to other 250cc teams, but I think we have made the correct choice. Now that I have signed I think we can focus 100% on the job, we can work calmly and be ready to fight until the end.´

250cc, 2008, Alvaro Bautista

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