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Fifth place “like a victory” for thrilled Bautista

Fifth place “like a victory” for thrilled Bautista

The rookie has overcome an injury in his debut premier class season to score a highly impressive top-five finish at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya on Sunday.

Álvaro Bautista and the Rizla Suzuki team were celebrating a fantastic result for the 25 year-old MotoGP rookie on Sunday, after he placed fifth at Montmeló. It was the Spaniard’s highest finish to date in the premier class by some distance, with a previous best of 10th at Jerez, and also registered the team’s finest placement so far in 2010.

A fantastic start from a season’s best qualification of ninth on grid saw Bautista rise up the order, and by lap 15 he was up to fifth, a position he showed great determination to hold on until the finish despite being put under pressure by Ben Spies.

“I am very happy because this fifth position is like winning the race after the last few races we’ve had,” said Bautista, who had not finished higher than 12th since breaking his collarbone before the third round at Le Mans. “We really needed this result, for me, for my team and especially for Suzuki.”

Bautista gradually improved his rankings through the sessions as the weekend went on, and a fall in the first practice on Friday which sprained his recovering left shoulder did little to hinder his progress.

He continued: “I was very strong all weekend and was confident that I could have a good race here. I was very focused at the start because I knew a good on would keep me with the group in front. I did that, but I had a bit of a problem in the race with the hard-braking areas because I didn’t feel that the bike was entering the corners like it did in practice.”

“I got a good rhythm in the race and tried to control what was going on behind me. In the last laps Spies was coming very fast and I tried to push a bit more, but the rear tyre was used up and I couldn’t do any more, so I rode tight for the last lap to make sure I got fifth position. I want to say thank you to all my team, to Suzuki and the sponsors Rizla and especially everybody that is here to support me, all my fans and family,” concluded Bautista.

MotoGP, 2010, GRAN PREMI APEROL DE CATALUNYA, Alvaro Bautista, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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