Alvaro Bautista was expecting a difficult Grand Prix at Phillip Island, but would eventually miss out on a podium finish by fractions of a second.
Prior to the race, in which competitors were obliged to fit the harder tyre, Bautista had expressed concerns over his pace as the Spaniard usually uses the softer available option on race day. However this did not prevent the GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider from battling with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi and Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow in a three-way scrap for third.
“We have managed to salvage a race that we knew was going to be difficult for us because of the enforced tire choice,” the Talavera de la Reina rider was pleased to report. “We knew it didn’t work with our bike but we fought hard and, thanks to the exceptional work of the team, we have come away with a result we didn’t expect.
“I gave my best, did everything I could on the bike and I have to be happy because I was fighting for a podium finish until the very end. Unfortunately, on the last lap I just felt that I couldn’t push the tire any harder and it’s a shame because I know that on the soft option we would have been able to get on the podium and achieve the objective we have set for ourselves before the end of the season.”
The result marked Bautista’s seventh top five finish of 2013 to date, allowing him to strengthen his stronghold on sixth position in the Riders’ Standings. The MotoGP field now heads to Motegi in Japan, where Bautista claimed his second of two rostrum finishes during the 2012 season.