tarting from ninth on the grid, Bautista had a good start and was in seventh at the end of the first lap. He then became involved in a local battle as he fought with the Americans on their home circuit over the next few laps. He passed Nicky Hayden and fought off the constant attacks of Colin Edwards, before pulling away from the Texan to leave him comfortably behind.
Álvaro Bautista: “I am happy with today’s position because this weekend we didn’t have the same rhythm as we have had in the last couple of races. I had a good qualifying session, but I was not quite on par with the top guys and that meant I couldn’t really stay with them and fight in the race. I made a decent start and overtook a couple of riders, but I just couldn’t keep up with the front group. We struggled a bit more at this track because we couldn’t get the bike to turn how we wanted and I think we were not quite at the same level as some of the others. I was consistent throughout the whole race and had a couple of good battles with other riders – especially with Edwards – but at the end I picked up a good rhythm and was able to put some distance on the riders behind. I think today was the best result we could have gotten – so we did the maximum. We now head to Misano where I think we can be more competitive from the beginning, so I am really looking forward to the race.
“One other thing that was very important was to finish the race, as I have crashed in the last two, so I am very happy that I did that! It gives us more motivation and also the team needed a result. I want to say a big thank you to the whole team for the passion that they showed this weekend and now we are in the best position to make another step forward.