WorldSBK: Bautista Wins Again in Red-Flagged Superpole Race

The Superpole for the 2019 Superbike World Championship race in Buriram was ended early, after six laps, due to a red flag for an incident between Thitipong Warokorn (Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team) and Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team).

However, the race started as normal, and like yesterday’s race, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) got a better launch than Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) but the power of the Panigale V4R allowed the Spaniard to draw back alongside the reigning World Champion. Nonetheless, Rea made the holeshot, only for Bautista to steam past him on the straight.

When they got to turn three, Bautista ran wide, and Rea cut underneath, only – again – for Bautista to power back by on the straight up to turn four. From there, surprisingly, Rea was unable to make an impression on Bautista, who stretched out a sizeable lead at the front and eventually won by two seconds, keeping his and the new Ducati’s 100% winning record in the championship.

After he was able to keep Bautista within range for over half the race yesterday, Rea would have been disappointed to have seen the #19 creep away after the second lap, but with the size of the straights in Buriram and the power advantage of the Ducati there is, really, only so much the four-times champion can do.

Alex Lowes – Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – 2019 WorldSBK. Image courtesy of Yamaha Corporation

Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha) tagged onto the back of the two leaders from the start, and pulled away from his Yamaha stablemates and Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) behind. In the end it was a second podium, and a second third place, of the weekend and the season for the Englishman, and he will no doubt be out to make it three out of three rostrum appearances in Thailand in the final race of the weekend.

Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK) was next over the line in fourth, after a battle with Leon Haslam (6th) which lasted the shortened race distance. Only two tenths behind Haslam was Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK), who had a messy first couple of laps, making a few mistakes, but was looking good for a strong fightback before the red flag, and he finished 0.3 seconds ahead of his GRT Yamaha teammate, Sandro Cortese who was seventh.

Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) finished eighth on the factory Ducati, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) who made a good start but dropped back from there. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) rounded out the top ten, but just missed out on the front three rows for the final race of the weekend.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) finished eleventh, ahead of Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing), Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) and Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team) who scored the first point of his WorldSBK career, and was the final rider classified.

Eugene Laverty’s (Team GoEleven) race was over before it even started, as his GoEleven team couldn’t get his bike repaired after his brake failure yesterday. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) retired at the end of the second lap, before Camier and Warokorn had their incident. Both were taken to hospital and both were declared unfit for the third and final race of the Thailand event.

Featured image courtesy of Ducati

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