Alvaro Bautista will compete on a factory Honda RC213V in the 2012 MotoGP season after moving to the San Carlo Honda Gresini squad. The Spaniard was widely tipped to stay with Rizla Suzuki should they continue next season but the uncertainty over their future has seen him move elsewhere.
The vacancy with Gresini came up in unfortunate circumstances after Marco Simoncelli's tragic death at Sepang but team manager Fausto Gresini is happy to have secured Bautista's services and is now hoping to look forward after a turbulent year.
“I am particularly satisfied that Alvaro Bautista will ride a Honda RC213V in the colours of Team San Carlo Honda Gresini next year. He is a very fast rider and I also hold him in high regard for his personality and pleasant nature. I am sure that he will integrate swiftly into our group and that we will enjoy some pleasant experiences together in the future.”
Speaking about his departure from Rizla Suzuki, Bautista paid tribute to the British-based team and hopes to see them continue in the championship for many years to come.
“I am very sad to be leaving Suzuki after the two great years that I have had here. It has been a great team to work in and I have learnt a lot of things from everyone in the team. It was a fantastic experience working with an English/Japanese team and we have become like a big family, except we have never had any arguments and no-one falls out with each other! I want to thank everybody personally for the last two years, sometimes it has been difficult, but nobody ever gave up and I felt like I always had their full support and commitment. I don't feel like I am leaving a team, but a group of friends that I hope I will know for a long time. I want to say a special thank-you to Tom, Paul, Ken san and Sahara san, and wish them and the rest of the team all the best for the future.”