Perfect WorldSBK debut a surprise for Bautista

Spaniard earns three victories aboard all-new Ducati Panigale V4 R.

Image: Supplied.

A perfect results sheet at Phillip Island’s opening round of the 2019 FIM Motul Superbike World Championship has taken Alvaro Bautista by surprise.

The Spaniard was not only making his debut in the championship, but it was also Ducati’s first competitive outing on the world stage with the all-new Panigale V4 R.

The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati talent claimed pole position before going onto the win races one and two by extended margins, along with the newly-introduced Superpole race, making for an incredible start to the 2019 series.

“It has been a perfect weekend and my Superbike debut couldn’t have been better,” Bautista stated. “We made a clean sweep of everything by winning race one, the Superpole race and race two. If people had said to me before that I would have won three races, I wouldn’t have believed them, but we worked hard during the tests to prepare a fantastic bike.

“In this morning’s Superpole race I had a lot of fun fighting with Rea, I knew that he was very strong and that he was always pushing. The pace was incredible and I had to concentrate so hard, but in the end I got the better of him. In race two the track conditions were more difficult than in the morning, and it was important to save the tyres because of the higher track temperature, so I pushed hard in the early laps to try and manage the situation at the end.

“I’m so happy with the results, today is a day I will never forget! A big thanks to the Aruba team, to Ducati and to my crew for making this all possible! Now we have to continue to work hard, we’re only at the beginning and I think it’s going to be a very top-level championship.”

Bautista now leads the championship by 13 markers over four-time defending champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) as the series heads to Thailand on 15-17 March for round two.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

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