Andrea Dovizioso bid an emotional farewell to his JiR Team Scot outfit with a strong fourth place in the Valencia Grand Prix.
The MotoGP rookie, who after seven seasons with the Italian squad in all three classes will move to the factory Repsol Honda team, had a highly successful season that saw him finishing fifth in the standings and best of the customer riders.
"This was my last race with my team, with whom I've been with for seven consecutive years," said the 22-year-old . "I still remember when running in the Italian Championship, being contacted by them to join the team.
"From tomorrow I will be an official Honda rider and this is the achievement of a dream, but there is also sorrow to leave a team that has always believed in me, that gave me the opportunity to contest the MotoGP championship.
"We have had a good season, often in front of 'official' factory machines and we achieved all the goals we set ourselves."
Dovizioso made a good start at the Ricardo Tormo track today from ninth on the grid to immediately slot behind the man he will replace next year, Nicky Hayden, and Colin Edwards's Tech 3 Yamaha.
He managed to pass them both on lap six while following Valentino Rossi's Fiat Yamaha, but wasn't able to keep up with this year's world champion.
"Today in the race, I started well but after that I knew things would become difficult," he explained. "I lost time overtaking both Nicky Hayden and James Toseland (he means teammate Edwards), but I was not able to stay with (Ducati Marlboro's race winner) Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi."
Dovizioso says he has already handed his customer Honda to now-former 250cc rider Yuki Takahashi, who has been promoted by the team to MotoGP, and is now thinking of his future with HRC, which will start tomorrow in the first post-season test.
"For next year I will have a motorcycle which I can develop and also I will have a new team with different working methods," he said.
"I know I must still improve, I will have to understand how to steer the development of the motorcycle, and in the race I must be more consistent. There will be equality of tyres also, which will be good for me."