Alvaro Bautista returns to Aspar Ducati team for 2017 MotoGP season

Current Aprilia rider Alvaro Bautista will return to the Aspar team to race a satellite Ducati in MotoGP in 2017

Alvaro Bautista returns to Aspar Ducati team for 2017 MotoGP season

The Spaniard won the 125cc title with Aspar in 2006 and moved up to the 250cc class with the team, winning eight races across three seasons and finishing second in the '08 standings to Marco Simoncelli.

He graduated to MotoGP in 2010 with Suzuki, and joined the Gresini outfit two years later, racing its satellite Hondas and then factory Aprilias since.

Bautista and team-mate Stefan Bradl will be replaced at Aprilia next year by current Suzuki rider Aleix Espargaro and Moto2 race winner Sam Lowes.

"I am happy to be returning to what was my home for many years in the world championship, where I enjoyed my best results including the 125cc world championship title and fought for another title in 250cc," Bautista, who has three MotoGP podiums to his name, said.

"I am happy and motivated to be going back and especially to have another year in MotoGP, a new adventure.

"Over the years I have grown a lot and I have much more experience now. I am confident that with this team we can be competitive in 2017."

Bautista will ride one of this year's Ducatis, with Aspar set to move up from its current pair of GP14.2 bikes to one 2015 and one '16 model.

Fellow satellite outfit Avintia Ducati will run an identical arrangement with Hector Barbera and Loris Baz.

Of Aspar's current riders, one of Eugene Laverty or Yonny Hernandez are likely to stay on to ride the 2015 bike, but Laverty has expressed reservations about racing older machinery than his team-mate.

Laverty is entertaining a switch back to the World Superbike Championship - in which he was the runner-up in 2013 - with Aprilia.

2017 MOTOGP GRID SO FAR
Yamaha: Valentino Rossi, Maverick Vinales
Honda: Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa
Ducati: Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso
Suzuki: Andrea Iannone, Alex Rins
KTM: Bradley Smith, Pol Espargaro
Aprilia: Sam Lowes, Aleix Espargaro
Tech3 Yamaha: Jonas Folger, Johann Zarco
LCR Honda: Cal Crutchlow
Marc VDS Honda: Jack Miller, Tito Rabat*
Pramac Ducati: Scott Redding*, Danilo Petrucci*
Avintia Ducati: Hector Barbera, Loris Baz
Aspar Ducati: Alvaro Bautista, TBC

*To be announced

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