Gresini hoping to retain Bautista
27 August 2012 – Fausto Gresini is not hiding the fact that he wishes to hold onto Álvaro Bautista for another MotoGP season. The team is very much in the spotlight, with Andrea Dovizioso having signed for Ducati whereas Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith are confirmed at Tech 3 Yamaha. The Gresini seat has suddenly become much sought-after.
“At this time we have not yet defined our plans for next year,” team owner Gresini told the official MotoGP website. “I can say that I am very happy with Álvaro and I am not hiding the fact that I would like to continue with him; he is a rider that I respect a lot, who I think has great potential.”
Gresini stresses that 27-year-old Bautista, who switched to his team from the departed Suzuki outfit and following the death of Marco Simoncelli in 2011, deserves at least one more season:
“I do not like to give a rider just one year because it would be limiting. It is clear that it’s difficult to know what will happen in the market, but the goal is to carry out the project that started this season which I care a lot about. On the other hand, it is important to always have an alternative and you cannot just work with one rider, but that's part of the game.
“We talked with (Ben) Spies and (Scott) Redding, but we also spoke with Álvaro and I think this is the important thing. Nothing is decided. We have a Honda motorcycle, an important motorcycle, but it is difficult to work on the 2013 project now - but soon we will have to.”
Bautista sits seventh in the Riders' Championship and is the highest-placed Spaniard in the field, with the exception of title contenders Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.