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San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista strengthened his position in fifth in the championship standings by finishing in a hard-fought fifth place at Phillip Island last weekend.
Bautista's battle with Andrea Dovizioso and Stefan Bradl provided much of the entertainment in the race with the three almost neck-and-neck for the duration of the race. Bautista had looked like he might steal fourth, but Dovizioso proved too quick on the final lap. Heading into the last race in Valencia, Bautista has an eight point lead over Valentino Rossi in sixth.
“We have achieved our objective in Phillip Island but I have to recognise that if it wasn't for the crash from Dani Pedrosa I would have been sixth. I am disappointed for him because he has produced some extraordinary races recently but he lost the championship on the second lap. In the warm-up we could see that Crutchlow had a better pace than us so when I saw Pedrosa crash I just tried my best to stick in the group behind Lorenzo in the hope we could fight for the podium but we were lacking straight-line speed. All the time I lost down the straight I had to make up for the rest of the lap but it was a fun battle with Dovizioso and Bradl, we passed each other many times and the race went quickly for me. I made one last attempt at the end but again Dovizioso got me down the straight and then did a good job to close every door. Anyway it's a positive result so thanks to all the team and now let's hope we can seal fifth in the championship at Valencia. ”
Fausto Gresini, Team Owner
“Fifth place for Álvaro confirms the progress he has made in the second half of the season and it is a credit to the hard work of his team. I am confident now about a grand finale in Valencia and hopefully fifth in the championship because they deserve it.”
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