Featured WSBK: another race hat-trick for Bautista in Thailand as the Spaniard cruises to Race Two victory

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Simon, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. Simon

    Simon Professional storyteller
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    In what has been a dream opening six races in Alvaro Bautista’s WSBK career, the Spaniard romped to another race win to become the first rider since Neil Hodgson to win the opening six races of a WSBK season, back in 2003, causing to another lights to flag victory in dominant fashion.

    When the lights turned green, Bautista was able to hold onto first position from start to finish. Kawasaki's Jonathan Rea didn't have the outright speed to challenge Bautista and instead had his hands full dealing with Yamaha's Alex Lowes.

    At the end of the first lap the leading trio had a slight gap over Kawasaki's Leon Haslam, Yamaha's Michael van der Mark and GRT Yamaha's Marco Melandri.

    Soon, the big battle came from the scrap for fifth position, with van der Mark, Melandri, GRT Yamaha's Sandro Cortese and Ducati's Chaz Davies duelling for position. Turn 3 was once again a prime overtaking area, with Melandri trying a move on van der Mark, with both running wide and allowing Chaz Davies to get a better drive down the straight. Melandri retook Davies at Turn 8 but the race winner from Buriram in 2018 fought back at Turn 12, a fight replicated by Cortese and van der Mark.

    On lap Four Melandri and Davies had a close call, with the Italian forcefully moving aside his former teammate at Turn 9, allowing van der Mark to go through, while Chaz Davies had to recover right at the back of the group and eventually retired on lap eight.

    Up front, Bautista continued to dominate and took the chequered flag by more than ten seconds ahead of Rea and Lowes.

    Bautista said: “I don’t know what to say. I think this weekend has been perfect for us because we dominate in all of the practices and all of the races. I want to say thanks to Ducati and to my team, we are working with a completely new bike, arriving at completely new tracks and we have to work for a set-up to make a good base. Here, we knew it would be difficult because in the last eight races, seven have been won by Kawasaki. At the end, we manage to have the same feeling that we have in Australia and we can be competitive. I am very, very happy!”.

    Further back van der Mark was able to hold off a late charge by Leon Haslam, while Marco Melandri finished in sixth position for a fifth race in a row. Van der Mark’s fourth place means he stretches his finishing run to 21.

    Behind the leading six, Sandro Cortese became the first German since Max Neukirchner in 2008 to finish six consecutive races inside the top eight, with his seventh position. Eighth belonged to Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team), with Razgatlioglu holding off Jordi Torres as they completed the top ten.
     

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