This morning it was announced that Alvaro Bautista was leaving the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team. Today he rode a San Carlo Gresini Honda in the second day of MotoGP testing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, the Spaniard having reached an agreement with Fausto Gresini for the 2012 season.Bautista, the 2006 125cc World Champion, rode the ex-Hiroshi Aoyoma Honda today and ended up just over two seconds off the best lap turned in by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. Bautista qualified fifth for the Sunday’s Grand Prix of Valencia with a 1:33.443 – just .371 of a second faster than his first day on the Honda.
“I am particularly satisfied that Alvaro Bautista will ride a Honda RC213V in the colours of Team San Carlo Honda Gresini next year,” team owner Gresini said in a team release. “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.”Bautista’s best finish with Suzuki in MotoGP was a fifth in what were two injury-plagued seasons.
Whether or not Gresini runs a two-rider team in 2012 is still up in the air as Moto2 racer Andrea Iannone has also been linked to the team.