Bautista to Gresini
Former Suzuki MotoGP rider Alvaro Bautista joins Honda Gresini for the 2012 MotoGP World Championship.
Following this morning's announcement that Alvaro Bautista had left Suzuki, the Spaniard has now been confirmed as a Honda Gresini MotoGP rider for 2012.
Bautista, a best of fifth during two injured interrupted seasons at Suzuki, will ride a 1000cc RC213V for the satellite Honda team.
However, it is not clear if it will be the full factory bike that had been assigned to Marco Simoncelli.
Bautista, a former 125cc world champion who battled with Simoncelli for the 250cc title, is making his Honda MotoGP debut on Hiroshi Aoyama's 800cc bike during Wednesday's second and final day of testing at Valencia.
"I am particularly satisfied that Alvaro Bautista will ride a Honda RC213V in the colours of Team San Carlo Honda Gresini next year," said team principal Fausto Gresini. "He is a very fast rider and I also hold him in high regard for his personality and pleasant nature. I am sure that he will integrate swiftly into our group and that we will enjoy some pleasant experiences together in the future."
There is no news on whether Gresini will be able to continue as a two-bike team, but Italian Moto2 race winner Andrea Iannone has also been linked to the Gresini team.
Confirmed 2012 MotoGP riders:
1. Casey Stoner - Repsol Honda
2. Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda
3. Jorge Lorenzo - Factory Yamaha
4. Ben Spies - Factory Yamaha
5. Valentino Rossi - Ducati Marlboro
6. Nicky Hayden - Ducati Marlboro
7. Cal Crutchlow - Tech 3 Yamaha
8. Andrea Dovizioso - Tech 3 Yamaha
9. Colin Edwards - Forward Racing
10. Hector Barbera - Pramac Ducati
11. Karel Abraham - Cardion AB Ducati
12. Alvaro Bautista - San Carlo Honda Gresini