Bautista’s first MotoGP podium followed some crucial set-up tweaks to his RC213V, as well as a suspension upgrade from Showa. These changes allowed the Spaniard to get back to his usual all-attack riding style. Seventh at the end of the first lap, he picked off his rivals one by one, taking third place from Stefan Bradl on lap 19 of 27. On the last lap Bautista came under attack from Andrea Dovizioso who dived inside at the final turn, then ran wide. The pair raced towards the finish line side by side, the difference just 0.003s.
Alvaro Bautista (3rd) “It is always nice to finish on the podium, but especially for me today with this being my first in MotoGP. Above all this is a very special weekend for me and the team, because our memories of Marco are so strong coming here to the circuit named in his honour. After a few tough races we have worked well here and managed to fight for the podium at last. I am so happy for the team and for Marco, because I am sure that wherever he is right now he was pushing us along. I could feel his hand on my shoulder today and I realised at the end that my name had come loose from my leathers, so you could say it was Marco that was with us today. It has been an extraordinary day and I almost crashed at the start – I picked myself up on my right elbow. I am happy for everybody who has believed in me and I want to dedicate this very special podium also to them.”
Fausto Gresini “What a feeling! It has been an incredible day for us and I am sure that Marco has given us a huge push from up there. To be on the podium with Alvaro in MotoGP and with Michele second amongst the CRTs in our colours and at this circuit named in his honour is just unforgettable and it will stay in our hearts forever. We needed a day like this, because it gives everybody the necessary enthusiasm to keep racing. Tomorrow we turn a new page in our history with Marco in our hearts every single day.”
Source: Gresini Racing / Honda Pro Racing