Bautista continues WorldSBK dominance with Thai victories

Ducati pilot defeats Rea in Superpole race and race two.

Image: Supplied.

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) has continued his dominance in the 2019 FIM Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), earning victories in the Tissot Superpole race and race two at Thailand’s second round of the series.

Despite Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) leading into the first turn of the Superpole race, Bautista emerged victorious after the race was stopped early due to a red flag for an incident at turn three.

Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea HONDA Racing) and Thitipong Warokorn (Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team) had a collision at turn three, bringing the red flag out and the race to a close. The Thai rider had been taken to the medical centre but has been sent to hospital for further assessments.

Bautista was declared winner ahead of Rea and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK), who was just a fraction behind the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK rider. Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK) was arguably the biggest beneficiary, moving from 10th on the grid to fourth after finishing just outside the podium placings. Completing the top five was Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).

Bautista took yet another race win to become the first rider since Neil Hodgson to win the opening six races of a WorldSBK season, back in 2003! Bautista completed another lights to flag victory in dominant fashion on his way to more records!

With lights turning green, the final race of the Pirelli Thai round got underway, with Bautista able to hold onto first position from start to finish. Rea couldn’t take a challenge to Bautista but had to deal with Lowes in the early stages. Bautista dominated to take the victory by more than 10 seconds, ahead of Rea and Lowes. Michael van der Mark was able to hold off a late charge by Haslam.

The FIM Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP) race at the Chang International Circuit was once again a thrilling 17-lap encounter. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) took a stunning win after leading the majority of the race, although having to battle hard with the rest of the front running protagonists too.

Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) fought back to finish second, with Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) holding on for third. Isaac Vinales (Kallio Racing) and Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) were fourth and fifth respectively. The WorldSBK now heads to Aragon in Spain for round three of the series, scheduled for 5-7 April.

Detailed results

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

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