The Japanese Grand Prix saw the resolution of the MotoGP title chase this Sunday, as Marc Márquez claimed his fifth crown in six seasons. Rival Andrea Dovizioso, who had to finish ahead of Márquez to keep his hopes alive and take the fight to the next race in Australia, crashed on the penultimate lap when contesting the win, handing the victory and the title to the Spaniard. Cal Crutchlow and Álex Rins joined him on the podium, with Valentino Rossi fourth and Ángel Nieto Team rider Álvaro Bautista fifth.
Álvaro Bautista and Angel Nieto Team equalled their best result of the season, with a fifth position that meant the Spaniard was the best Ducati rider at the Japanese GP. At next week’s Australian GP he will form part of the Italian manufacturer’s factory team, as a substitute for the injured Jorge Lorenzo.
5th Álvaro Bautista:
“I’m happy with this result; it’s been a very good weekend. We made a good start, to get into the front group, but when I was behind Pedrosa it was hard for me to stop the bike and enter the corners well because I had overheated the front tyre. When I was able to overtake and the tyre was working correctly, I went for Zarco and Rossi. Zarco was faster than me when cornering and it was hard for me to get close, but I took a risk to overtake him and it worked out well, although it was a bit late because Valentino had already escaped. A Top 5 is the highest place we could get today.
I want to thank Ángel Nieto Team, Jorge Martínez “Aspar” and everyone else for letting me ride for the factory team in Australia. I also want to thank Ducati for the opportunity to work with them. It will be a weekend in which I will try to learn as much as possible and work as best I can, with no objective in mind. It is exciting to be able to compete with a factory team, and to do it with Ducati is a dream come true.”