The second full length race for the second round of the 2019 Superbike World Championship from the Buriram International Circuit in Thailand was, like the previous five races of the season, completely dominated by ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista.
The Spaniard made the holeshot, and held the lead throughout the first lap, and soon after he had broken Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who settled in for a cold war with Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK). There was nothing anybody can do about Bautista, though, who strolled to his sixth consecutive victory, doubling his championship advantage compared to before the weekend.
Jonathan Rea, though, did what he needed to, in maintaining second place, not over-stretching either himself or the bike, and ultimately he is only one point more than a full-distance race win away from the World Championship lead. He has kept himself in the championship, and finally that was the maximum for the reigning champion and his Kawasaki team.
The weekend was a big success for Alex Lowes, and he topped that off with perhaps his best ride of the weekend, as he stayed with Rea for three quarters of the race, before he fell back at the end. A third podium was about as much as the Yamaha rider could have hoped for, and he was by far the best Yamaha rider this weekend.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK) took fourth place for the third time this weekend. He had hoped to be able to fight for the podium with his teammate, but despite starting six places better off than in the first two races – going from fourth – he was unable to match Lowes’ pace. Instead, the Dutchman fought once more with Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) who finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) once again took seventh place, ahead – once again – of fellow rookie Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) who was eighth. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) disappointed once again on his semi-factory ZX-10RR as he battled with Jordi Torres’ privateer Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki for ninth place. Razgatlioglu came out on top in that duel, but it would not be the fight he had been hoping nor expecting to have.
Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) took eleventh place on the S1000RR, ahead of Ryuichi Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) in thirteenth and Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team).
There were four non-starters, as Eugene Laverty’s GoEleven team were unable to get his bike prepared after his brake failure yesterday; Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) entered the pits after the warm-up lap; and Thitipong Warokorn (Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team) and Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) were both declared unfit after their crash in the Superpole race earlier in the day.
In the race, there were two retirements, as Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) retired with a drivetrain issue, and Chaz Davies’ ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati Panigale V4R expired after fighting with the Yamaha riders and Haslam’s Kawasaki in the final race of the weekend.