The Superpole race in Aragon for the third round of the 2019 Superbike World Championship saw Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) take his eighth win of the season, but the battle behind for second was, as in race one on Saturday, hard-fought.
Bautista, once again, made the holeshot, this time leading from Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK) who jumped Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) in the first corners of the race.
Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) also made good starts, although Rea was quite lucky to make it out of turn one after he was clipped by Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) which took the Italian down, and caught Michael van der Mark’s Pata Yamaha as well.
After a lap, Bautista was gone, but soon after the battle for second was heating up. Lowes soon passed Cortese for second, and the German was soon shuffled further back by Rea and Davies, and then Sykes and Eugene Laverty (Team GoEleven) came through as well.
Lowes, Rea and Davies soon established themselves as the three riders who would be fighting for the final two spots on the front row for the final race of the weekend.
Rea managed to pass Lowes with a few laps to go, but was unable to break away from the Yamaha rider, and Lowes came back past a few laps later.
With two laps to go, Rea almost ran into the back of Lowes’ Yamaha in turn one, and had to run wide. In fact, it was quite impressive from Rea to be able to keep the bike on the track, and not lose a position to Davies who was not so far behind. The reigning champion then closed in on Lowes by three tenths in the third sector, and made his pass on the main straight.
Although Lowes was able to stick with Rea throughout the last lap. He was unable to get the run out of turn fifteen, that he needed to be able to position himself to pass Rea in the final corner, and had to settle for third.
Another second was important for Rea, too, in respect to his championship. Of course, he is going to have to beat Bautista on track at some point if he is to win his fifth consecutive championship, but to keep the damage to a minimum is, for the moment, all he can do.
Chaz Davies came home in fourth, ahead of Tom Sykes who took his second top five of the weekend, in front of Eugene Laverty in sixth and the injured Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in seventh.
Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing) was eighth, only 1.7 seconds behind his Kawasaki stablemate, Haslam, and the same distance ahead of Cortese in ninth, whilst Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) was tenth and missed out on the front three rows for the second full-length race.
Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) was caught up in the Rinaldi incident at turn one and finished eleventh, ahead of Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team), Ryuichi Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team), Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team) and Michael van der Mark who got back on his YZF-R1 after he went down in turn one.
Aside from Rinaldi, the luckless Markus Reiterberger was the only retirement, a mechanical problem putting him out of the race at half distance.