Featured WSBK: Bautista wins first ever Superpole race as Ducati V4R continues to fly

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Simon, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. Simon

    Simon Professional storyteller
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    The first ever WSBK Superpole race saw Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista destroy the field to add another win to his tally.

    The fast-paced ten lap encounter was a thriller from lights-out to chequered flag, with Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea sweeping majestically into the lead at Turn One, and Race One winner Bautista hot on his heels.

    By the end of the first lap, Yamaha’s Alex Lowes had moved to third position – briefly taking Bautista for second place, only for the Ducati Panigale V4 R to blast past, passing him easily down the Gardner Straight. However, unlike in Race One on Saturday, the Spaniard was unable to make a break away from Rea, who stayed with him – a completely different story in comparison to the first race of the season yesterday.

    Rea’s team-mate Leon Haslam was pushed back briefly to fifth position by Michael van der Mark on the factory Yamaha, but soon managed to retake fourth and then halfway into the race took back third place from Lowes.

    With seven laps to go, Rea pushed ahead of Bautista at Turn Two, only for the championship leader to push back in front at Turn Four – the gloves were off. Rea briefly took the lead back, but Bautista’s Ducati power soon put him in front at the end of the lap. Rea put a bold move on the 34-year-old at Turn One immediately after, with similar moves being made throughout the field.

    The battle raged on behind after Haslam had broke away to secure third, asLowes, van der Mark, Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha) and team-mate Marco Melandri all battled hard. The quartet of Yamaha YZF R1s duked it out and tripped up over each other, ending any chance they had of mounting a top three charge.

    The final lap saw the drama continue to unfold, with Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) wiping out Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) at the infamous Turn Four.

    At the flag, Bautista held off Rea’s onslaught to take the first ever win in the Superpole Race to start from pole position in Race Two. Rea secured second with team-mate Leon Haslam completing the top three.
     

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