Bautista moves from Suzuki to Gresini for 2012
9 November 2011 – Honda Gresini, the team which ran the late Marco Simoncelli in this year’s MotoGP World Championship, has confirmed Spaniard Álvaro Bautista for the 2012 season.
Testing for Gresini in Valencia on Wednesday, Bautista is now signed up with the Italian outfit for a full MotoGP campaign, making the switch from Suzuki.
“I am very sad to be leaving Suzuki after the two great years that I have had there,” he says. “It has been a great team to work in and I have learnt a lot of things from everyone. 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.”
Wednesday’s news has also been welcomed by Gresini head Fausto Gresini, who has been deeply affected by the recent passing of Simoncelli in Malaysia.
“I’m particularly satisfied that Álvaro Bautista will ride a Honda in the Gresini team colours next year,” he comments. “He is a very fast rider and I hold him in high regard for his personality and pleasant nature too. I am sure he will integrate into our group swiftly and that we will enjoy some notable experiences together in the future.”